S:0260 Distinction: Change History vs. Make History

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


A top athlete can make history by setting a new world’s record and they will forever be in the history books for their achievement. An ordinary school teacher can change history by having a pivotal impact on a student who goes on to do things that influence the world forever.

Neil Armstrong made history by being the first human to set foot on a celestial body other than Earth. The U.S.A. space program changed history by forever reframing humanity’s relationship with the moon, the planets and the stars.

The distinction between changing history and simply making history is in the effect. You can make history or change history or both. What effect are you having?

(Yes, I agree that the phrase ‘change history’ is somewhat of a misnomer. While ‘change the future’ might be more accurate, the phrase ‘he or she changed history’ is more commonly used.)


Copyright 2000 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.