More on Impact

I’ve noticed that many people are as interested in the misuse of the word impact as a verb as am I. In my IMPACT DOES NOT MEAN TO AFFECT post, I explained that impact isn’t a verb unless it’s used to mean to strike forcefully, as in The meteor impacted Earth, and that it shouldn’t be used to mean to affect or to influence. I didn’t, however, fully explain how impact should be used. 

Impact is otherwise a noun just as are table, car, happiness, and health.

You can have an impact on something, but you cannot impact something.

  • The approaching cold front will have an impact on the weather, not The approaching cold front will impact the weather.
  • Consumer spending will have an impact on corporate profits, not Consumer spending will impact corporate profits.


Sherry’s Grammar List and Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

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