It’s Not Impactful–it’s Inane

In an Internet article on careers: Companies need people who can make their sites easy to navigate and visually impactful….


Impactful is a new non-word (meaning, of course, that it is not a word) that people, especially in the media, like to say because they think that it makes what they’re saying sound more important. I guess words such as effective, compelling, impressive, and forceful just don’t do it for anyone these days.


I found impactful in a popular on-line dictionary, which, for many people, gives its use credibility; however, finding a usage in a modern on-line dictionary–or any dictionary for that matter (see co-blogger Paul Yeager’s What Does the Word Dictionary Mean)–does not make a word legitimate. Regardless, in my lexicographical travels, I’ve yet to find an entry for it in any established volume. I’m sure that it does exist somewhere in some dictionary, however—after all, doesn’t everything?


Let me be succinct: Impactful is not a word–and someone should alert the media.



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

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