“Affected,” “Influenced”—Sometimes Even “Improved”—Are Better Choices Than “Impacted”
- On March 3, 2020
Ivanka Trump was talking recently about the success of the Administration’s worker retraining program. “15 million lives impacted, 15 million families impacted,” she said.
Impact, traditionally a noun, as in have an impact on, has turned into a verb (one shunned by stylists everywhere), pushing aside more human-sounding verbs, chief among them affect.
While affected would have been a much better word choice, Ms. Trump could have gone a step further in touting the program’s results. Why not use more descriptive, precise language, for example, “15 million lives improved, 15 million families helped”?
The rise of impacted may stem from confusion between affect and effect—read this post for the difference between them—but impacted as a verb should be reserved for your wisdom teeth.