"impact"="to affect"(Usage Disputes)
"Impact", which comes from Latin _impactus_, past participle of _impingere_ = "to push against", is first recorded in English in 1601 in the form of the past participle, "impacted". The verb "to impact", meaning "to press closely into or in something", dates from 1791. The noun "impact" dates from 1781. The (undisputed) expression "impacted wisdom tooth" dates from 1876. There is another English verb derived from Latin _impingere_: "to impinge", first recorded in 1605. "To impinge on" shares with "to impact" the sense "to come sharply in contact with", and some people consider it stylistically preferable. Unlike "to impact", "to impinge on" has acquired the figurative sense "to encroach on", possibly through confusion with "to infringe". This sense is attested from 1758 on. The usage dispute centres on the use of the verb "to impact (on)" in the sense "to affect, to have an effect on, to influence". The OED's earliest citations where this is clearly the sense are: for "impact on", 1951; and for transitive "impact", 1963. Opposition to these uses is widespread. 84% of AHD3's Usage Panel disapproved of "social pathologies [...] that impact heavily on such a community"; and 95% disapproved of "a potential for impacting our health". Among the objections to such use of "impact" are that it sounds pretentious and bureaucratic, and that it may connote to the reader violence that the author did not intend. The latter objection can apply also to "impact" the noun. Kenneth Hudson, in _The Dictionary of Diseased English_ (Macmillan, 1977), noted: "'Yves St. Laurent's Triangles give even more design impact to your bed' (Washington Star, 17.10.76) is not the happiest of sentences. 'Make a nice bed look even better' would have been more reassuring."
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