by David Safier

In a Star article this morning about Republicans wishing Napolitano would just go to D.C. already and quit acting like the Governor, Incoming House Speaker Kirk Adams (R-Mesa) said about the proposed budget Napolitano intends to submit:

"It wouldn't mean much or be very impactful."

Impactful? People who use the word "impactful" want their banalities to be more impactful have more impact. It's pure corporate-speak. 

An online source from Washington State University writes, 

Many people in business and education like to speak of things that have an impact as being “impactful,” but this term does not appear in most dictionaries.

My favorite definition comes from the Urban Dictionary:

A non-existent word coined by corporate advertising, marketing and business drones to make their work sound far more useful, exciting and beneficial to humanity than it really is. This term is most frequently used in "team building" seminars and conferences in which said drones discuss the most effective ways to convince consumer zombies to purchase crap they clearly do not need or even want.

"Impactful" isn't bad because it's not in the dictionary. After all, language is in a constant state of flux. Dictionaries add new words every year. As a linguist once said, a dictionary is a historian, not a law giver.

No, it's bad because the people who use it are less interested in communicating than in sounding like they have something important to say.

And it's bad because it's ugly. Impactful. Ugh! Sounds like a mouth full of bad molars, doesn't it?
Advertisement