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.