Blog Post: A Letter to Webster's Dictionary

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

By Jessica Hulsey Nickel

At a meeting recently I was describing my work with amazing families across the country who have been impacted by addiction, when the man next to me commented that I had used bad grammar in that description.

And he was right. I did use bad grammar. Impact is a verb that describes colliding or being hit; not being affected by something. And I was an English major, I take grammar and all things related to the English language very seriously.

But I'm using bad grammar on purpose. Affected is not nearly strong enough a word. A British poet once wrote “a drop of ink may make a million think”. We need a word that articulates the anguish of addiction to help others better understand the importance of this issue.