How Does This Issue Impact You?

So many issues to contemplate and solve. Issue after issue. Issues are issuing forth from radio, television and every segment of media all day and all night. We are bombarded with issues.

We are constantly being asked how these issues impact us. So many impacts. Impacts here, impacts there, impacts, impacts everywhere.

What I want to know is what happened to problems affecting people. I’m guessing impact has replaced affect, at least in writing, because so many people are unsure whether to use affect or effect.

Either of those can be used instead of impact:

  1. How does this problem affect you? (Affect is a verb.)
  2. What will be the effect of this problem? (Effect is a noun.)

It’s true that affect can be a noun: The patient had a flat affect (no facial expression).

Effect can also be a verb: Every new president hopes to effect changes (meaning bring about). 

However, you can see how rarely each of those words is used in those ways. Try memorizing the overwhelmingly more common uses of affect and effect (see sentences 1 and 2 above) and take them out for a spin every now and then. Don’t get stuck in the Issue and Impact Rut.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under All things having to do with the English language

2 responses to “How Does This Issue Impact You?

  1. Jeff

    Ha! I often say to people, “If this issue is having an impact on you, I better see a scar. Or at least a bruise. Otherwise, it’s only affecting you.”

    Like

    • Jeff, it’s so rewarding to know you care as much as I do. I’m leaving “impact” to dentists dealing with wisdom teeth. I know I don’t need to ask how you feel about “impactful.” I shudder.

      Like

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