1. Credulous Skeptic
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    Credulous Skeptic Member

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    The misuse of the word 'impact'

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Credulous Skeptic, Apr 6, 2009.

    Craters impact the earth, baseball bats impact skulls, but advertising doesn't impact anyone.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol... well it can influence someone to buy something, so I would say it does impact a potential buyer. Multiple meanings and such...
     
  3. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    All these things WILL kill you however...
     
  4. Credulous Skeptic
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    Credulous Skeptic Member

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    Good, good, good. I was afraid you would defend the impactful dialogue of your favorite books, but instead at least one of you argued in my favor, and all of you made me happy. I like this place.

    But I stand firm in saying that 'influence' and 'impact' shall never be synonyms in my writings.
     
  5. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    o_O interesting.

    Impact...I think of something painful like a car wreck.
    Advertisers influence, I'd agree. They don't impact us, they influence us.

    Again, interesting point.
    ~Lynn
     
  6. Dalouise
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    Dalouise Contributing Member

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    I would not link "impact" to "influence". I would however link "impact" to "affect" in certain contexts. ;)
     
  7. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I can sort of see impact as affect... at the same time, though, wouldn't it just be easier to say affect?
     
  8. Xeno
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    Xeno Mad and Bitey Contributor

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    Well I would say that 'Impact' would be used as an exaggerated form of 'Affect'.
     
  9. othman
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    othman Member

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    Advertisements do "impact" us, though! I mean, influence is like a friend influences your opinion on (enter something futile here) but advertisements, at the very least, attempt to impact you. They have thirty seconds, they aren't your bestest buddy and they're not allowed to use subliminal messaging. They have to impact you like a bat impacts your skull: BUY MY PRODUCT!! IT'S AWESOMELY CHEAP AND SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE'S PRODUCTS!! They have to be horribly crude and basically shout at you: order you!
     
  10. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Actually... there are advertisements that use subliminal messages o_O

    I know that's not the point, but yeah, thought I'd throw that out there.
     
  11. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I dunno... I feel a bit like I've been in a head-on collision after witnessing some advertising.

    Especially this one:

    WACKY WAVING INFLATABLE ARM-FLAILING TUBE MAN!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Umm. skeptic, the use is metephorical or idiomatic.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the only problem i see is people not using the word correctly/grammatically, when not meaning a 'collision'... there are perfectly good/correct ways to do so, however:

     
  14. Credulous Skeptic
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    Credulous Skeptic Member

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    To some extent, all dictionaries promote illiteracy. Impact should never be used as a synonym for effect.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Language does evolve. Dictionaries don't create language so much as report accepted use.

    When a word is misused repeatedly by a large enough seqment oif te population long enough, it becomes durable enough that the use must be documented. That's how we end up with verbal atrocities like leverage used as a verb.

    Don't blame the messenger.
     
  16. Adelaide
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    Adelaide Member

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    Cogito is right. You can stop the evolution of language. The oft-cited example is Shakespeare inventing quite a few words that we use every day. Was he butchering the English language? I think he was actually using it to its fullest potential. (Or milking it, if you want to keep the cow metaphor going. :D) One of the things that I love about English is that we don't have a an institution that monitors our language (at least in America, I don't know for sure in Britain). In Spain, for example, there are all those scholars sitting in their libraries making sure no one's using le in unacceptable way. I just think that's ridiculous.
     
  17. Credulous Skeptic
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    Credulous Skeptic Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. I just am angered sometimes, because there are so many wrong ways to use words.

    Oh, here is a strange rule: A comma must precede the word 'because.'

    How did so many people long ago write so well, when so many of the writers didn't even have dictionaries or usage guides?

    I apologize if I angered anyone.
     
  18. Daniel Lynn
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    Daniel Lynn New Member

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    When I think of the word 'impact', I personally hear the words 'impacting an opinion' in my head.
     
  19. Credulous Skeptic
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    Credulous Skeptic Member

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    Do you really? How long have you thought about 'impact' in this way?

    I'm guess I'm just not used to the way many people are using my beloved mother tongue. I myself change the way I write very often just to avoid writing incorrect English. I wish the rules were simpler.
     
  20. Daniel Lynn
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    Daniel Lynn New Member

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    I don't honestly know, CS. I guess I've heard it somewhere and became fond of the term.
     
  21. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know I've heard the word impactful used, and it was used to mean to be influential. Just as I was typing it, though, the spell check gave me the red underline, so this is my first realization that it's not a real word.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course it's a real word:

     

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