Poll: It's okay to use "impact" as a verb.

It's okay to use "impact" as a verb.

Yes, it is.
No, it isn't.

Statistics Poll Stats

This Poll:

  • Votes: 1,081
  • Comments: 12
  • Added: December 2004



The word is phonetically polysemous.Bi-syllabic words like this form their meaning from pronunciation(stress).Any bi-syllable(or most) which is stressed on the first syllable or which places the primary stress on the first syllable is usually a noun.But where the primary stress falls on the second syllable the word becomes a verb....eg..IMport(noun)...imPORT(ve


While I agree that language evolves, I abhore the conversion of nouns to verbs simply because the word must be initially misused in order to ever make it into common speech in the first place. The fact that most of these conversions are because of use in business and press circles further exacerbates my ire since many of these people are trying to be innovative and cute as opposed to correct and concise. How can educators enforce the proper rules of grammar if those rules can be changed according to anyone's whim? Are we that afraid to tell someone that they are wrong?


I think it's fine in the rigth context. "When the meteor impacted" is fine. "Then the baseball will impact" is fine. But "I am currently impacting" is not.


I have to agree with Sal - although I would add that while language evolves, it can also DE-evolve (though I am inventing a word) and degrade. We seem to be allowing the English language to simultaneously evolve and create more meaning, and degrade such that it loses structure and becomes less "universal". English is thus becoming increasingly difficult to understand from one place and context to the next!


i think impact isnt a verb so why do we need to do that


I don't generally use impact as a vt, but it has been used as one since the 1600s. Therefore: verb.


I am sure that we can use impact as a verb as well. The meaning is "have effect"

Nadir Qureshi

Hello my dear fellows
well how can you say that impact is not an verb i think its depend on senerio.


In a section on "good usage versus common usage" (Section 5.202), the Chicago Manual of Style recommends that we resist using this word as a verb, except in a physical context.



Direct jumping betwen nouns and verbs is something English tends towards. We have a strict SVO order, so it won't matter except in very rare cases that noone cares about.


I understand that there are many arguments for and against but my instinct is to reject the use of the word as a verb mainly because of the way I was taught but also because it just doesn't SOUND right! I speak French fairly well and spend a lot of time in conversation with our Gallic friends and I like the way that their reluctance to allow too much medling HAS AN IMPACT UPON its continued purity.

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