The rule: Impact is a noun, not a verb.
Incorrect version: “The story really impacted me.”
Correct version: “The story really influenced me.”
“Eek, screech, agh! Even educated people now use ‘impact,’ as a verb. I’m a purist,” Norris says. “Impact should stay a noun unless you are talking about having an impacted wisdom tooth.” She suggests saying “influence” instead.
Fogarty says she suspects the root of the issue might come back to number two—people don’t know whether to use affect or effect, so they (incorrectly) use impact instead. Her fix: “You’ll almost always have a stronger sentence if you explain how it affected you instead: ‘The story changed the way I think about seahorses,’ or ‘The story made me stop what I was doing and call my mother to tell her I love her.’”