According to the American Heritage Dictionary, "Impact has been used as a verb since 1601, when it meant 'to fix or pack in,' and its modern, figurative use dates from 1935." But for some reason, I thought it wasn't a verb, because people used to say (or so it seems) "it had an impact on..." instead of "it impacted..."
I guess it's because I'm one of those people who's been affected by "its frequent appearance in the jargon-riddled remarks of politicians, military officials, and financial analysts." I had a loathsome job where a boss kept using that word, and I thought they were trying to sound "modern" and "slick" because they were about appearance, but apparently they used the word correctly.
Check out the usage notes for contact: it was originally a noun, and "was initially frowned upon" when used as a verb. Which means that "impact" is legit, while "contact" is newly legit.
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