Impacted Versus Affected

I cringe when I read that a group of people may be ‘impacted’ by a hurricane or politics, or for that matter, that anyone may be impacted. I know that a wisdom tooth may become impacted, but my OED says nothing about people being ‘impacted’.

Does anyone know when ‘impacted’ gained favor over ‘affected’? Or why?

About these ads

  1. Ha! Thank you for posting this. I noticed this a long, long time ago.

    I think ‘impact’ can be correctly used as a verb, it’s just been in the last 10 years or so that people have been doing it.

    Another few usage things I’ve noticed:
    – pronouncing the word ‘harass’ in the British way, with the the emphasis on the first syllable;
    – everyone being called Mr. ________ no matter how many times their name is repeated.

  2. DG

    Hello Todd,

    Just seems to me that it’s one of those ‘political’ words. Bigger ‘impact’ if you will. Sounds much worse than ‘affected’. Much like a virus used to be called an epidemic, but now, ‘pandemic’ gets the juice. ;)

  3. 1. While impact, the verb, is more commonly used for physical collisions than affect is, impact, the noun, is used more broadly to describe something that profoundly affects many people. On the other hand, the noun “affect” encompasses more touchy-feely and wishy-washy connotations. Modern media’s love affair with verbing nouns makes them reach for the noun with more punch.

    2. Fewer and fewer people have mastered the difference between affect and effect, so they use the plural mongoose dodge: “send me a mongoose, and while you’re at it, send me another.”

  4. It’s a new word ;) You know what these business types are like. Describing the same concept over and over again is mind-numbingly dull, so using more punchy words incorrectly is rewarded. Heaven forbid anyone choose to use the passive voice once in a while and say “had an impact upon” – nobody can concentrate through four words!

  5. I do enjoy the manner in which you have framed this problem plus it really does present me personally a lot of fodder for thought. Nonetheless, from everything that I have observed, I only trust when the opinions pile on that folks continue to be on point and in no way get started on a soap box regarding the news of the day. All the same, thank you for this outstanding point and even though I do not concur with this in totality, I value the perspective.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


  • Blog Stuff

  • What People Are Saying

  • People Are Interested In

  • RSS Word Of The Day

  • RSS Quote Of The Day

  • RSS Neologisms

    • Gray Thursday November 26, 2014
      n. The evening of the United States Thanksgiving holiday, when some retailers offer sales and stay open until the early morning or all night.Once upon a time, we used to call Gray Thursday "Thanksgiving." With Black Friday sales starting earlier each year, they were bound to bleed into Turkey Day.—Tony Bravo, “The Sixteen Days of Holiday Retail,” S […]
    • happiness curve November 25, 2014
      n. The U-shaped curve obtained by graphing individual happiness levels over time, which typically drop until midlife, level off for a time, and then rise.The apes' well-being bottomed out at ages comparable, in people, to between 45 and 50 -- implying that the happiness curve is not uniquely human.—Jonathan Rauch, “The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis,” The […]
    • brocialist November 21, 2014
      n. A man who has progressive views, but who is also insensitive to women and dismissive of feminist issues.The "brocialist" is generally a good leftist. His heart is probably in the right place. But he has a gigantic blind spot when it comes to women, one that is both political (he is not sensitive to feminist concerns) and personal (he can be a pi […]
    • budtender November 20, 2014
      n. A person who dispenses marijuana in a cannabis shop or medical marijuana clinic.Colorado law says cannabis must be sold in rooms that can't be seen from outside, so the real business happens in an interior room. A helpful and knowledgeable "budtender" -- a guy in his 20s or 30s, typically, who has submitted to a state background check -- gu […]
    • hicksploitation November 19, 2014
      n. A TV or film genre that features stereotypical depictions of rural people, particularly those from the American South.Robertson is the biggest star of the biggest boom in reality TV: hicksploitation. The genre laughs at (and sometimes with) the last group of people its still ostensibly OK to stereotype -- white backwoodsy men.—Grayson Schaffer, “Why Duck […]
    • small data November 18, 2014
      n. The data generated by an individual or small company.Throughout the two days I found myself constantly presented with new ideas -- of course, many of these were not new at all, just new for me to think about. So when Richard Nash talked about "small data" (metadata about you: your cookies, your web search history, your Amazon clicks, and so on), […]
    • dronestagram November 14, 2014
      n. A photo or video shot from a drone.Apropos of autonomous weapons, Cody highlighted some "dronestagrams" taken by the unmanned vehicles.—Benjamin Bissell, “The Week that Was: All of Lawfare in One Post,” Lawfare, November 1, 2014See the full entry
    • tube site November 13, 2014
      n. A video sharing website modeled after YouTube.com, particularly one that specializes in pornographic movies.Specifically, MindGeek owns a large number of porn aggregator "tube sites" (so named because they mimic YouTube's format) such as Pornhub, YouPorn, and Redtube, which serve up huge amounts of free porn funded by ads.—David Auerbach, “ […]
    • fintech November 12, 2014
      n. The industry consisting of companies that create or sell financial technology.Scores of fintech enterprises in London and Silicon Valley are devising new ways to lend cash, transfer money abroad, settle international commercial transactions and score credit risk -- all of which have been the domain of banks for centuries.—Edward Robinson, “In Britain, fin […]
    • super-gentrification November 11, 2014
      n. The rebuilding and upgrading that occurs when exceptionally wealthy people move into an already well-off or middle-class area.Postcode 94027 is now undergoing something of a "super-gentrification", where an entirely new strata of super-rich are taking over already affluent areas.—Julie Ensor, “The sleepy American suburb turned super-rich playgro […]
  • More Blog Stuff


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: