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Came across "create a great impact" today, and I have never seen "impact" used with "create" (as far as I can remember).

Is there a difference in meaning and usage between:

  1. create an impact
  2. have an impact
  3. make an impact
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Google has 302K results for "create impact" so it's not uncommon –  JoseK May 4 '11 at 6:49
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I started to compose an answer, but semantic satiation has set in. I'll try to come back to this later. –  Marthaª May 4 '11 at 23:56
    
I am asking this question with the meaning "make an impression" in mind. Not really the meaning "make a large hole because something hit hard". Anyone else with answers to this? Or is the answer simply "no"? –  masarah May 19 '11 at 7:40
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3 Answers 3

I've seen all three used in exactly the same context (sometimes in the same presentations- apparently some people think that's valid vocabulary variation), so while there may be some slight connotative difference due to connotative differences between the first word of each phrase, even these are pretty slim. I'd say the end answer to your question is "no."

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Technically "create an impact" is not wrong, as "create" could be a synonym for "make". As you pointed out, the common phrases are have an impact or make an impact, so there is a little poetic license going into the substitution.

To my ears, create an impact sounds a bit awkward, but if in the context of informal text or marketing with an agenda to elicit an emotional response, then a glittering generality like create may better serve the purpose.

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Could it be thay are variation of positive intensity of impact or how novel the impact is?

Creat an impact : One has to create a new impact from nothing e.g. if one brings together interstaller dust and hurls it to a planet, should that be counted as creating an impact?

Make an Impact : Imapcts have been known, just make another one. e.g. He flew his F16 into the alien mothership but all he could do was just to make another impact.

Have an impact : Just go ahead and have an impact just like bunch of other people e.g. during the rock bashing ceremeny he stood forward and had impact like everyone else.

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