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This would be a subset of a total population that is affected by a change in policy or law. I tried 'party' but that really didn't work and sounded too legalese. Phrases like 'impacted persons' or 'affected persons' were cumbersome.

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  • Would "those affected" be less cumbersome?
    – jmrpink
    Jul 24, 2018 at 18:01
  • Not quite. I'm trying to use it as the name of a role. Similar to "impactee" but that isn't a real word. Jul 24, 2018 at 18:15

3 Answers 3

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Impact is a synonym of the word affect. In some dictionaries, it's called "affectee." It's arguable, however that it is a valid word.

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  • I have not heard this before, but I checked three dictionaries and they all had it and the plural. It is not in common usage, but meets my needs so qualifies as an answer in my book. Thank you! Jul 25, 2018 at 14:42
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Would 'subjects' work? As in, those who were subjected to change?

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  • Subject is reminiscent of a subject in a test. Again, trying to avoid negative connotations. Yet your thought process, "subjected to change," is spot on. Jul 24, 2018 at 19:21
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Technically, somebody who performs an action can be called an agent and somebody who is the object of that action can be called a patient:

[Merriam-Webster]

noun

2 : one that is acted upon

In linguistics, when a sentence is analyzed, the words agent and patient are used rather than subject and object.

However, even if correct, I doubt it would sound natural enough for your purpose. (If you object to other connotations of subject you'll have similar objections to patient.)


Other variations that imply a "role" could be the changed or the affected, but those are not typical uses of the words and adding the definite article in front of them could be considered a kind of cheat.

Target need not refer to somebody who is negatively affected:

[Merriam-Webster]

b : something or someone to be affected by an action or development

However, it commonly is associated with something negative.


You may be forced to have to use a different word in different specific situations. For instance, somebody who receives something is a recipient or a beneficiary, and somebody who is hurt is a victim.

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