I must be thinking of grammar more lately, either that or there are just more great grammar related articles floating about the internet. Ever wondered whether you should use "effect" or "affect"? Wonder no more! Rachel Berens-VanHeest has written a (terrific!) post about just this.
Let’s start with at “affect” vs. “effect.” Many people use these worlds interchangeably, rather than correctly.That's just the beginning. There are many more gloriously simple and easy to understand examples in Rachel's article: Short and Sweet: Grammar Cake Pops – Affect vs. Effect.
So what do they mean? By definition, you “affect,” or act on something, and something that you do causes an “effect.” In other words, “affect” is a verb, and “effect” is a noun. Or think of it this way: “affect” is something you DO, while “effect” is something that IS.
EXAMPLE: Susan wondered if David’s compliments were starting to affect her self-confidence. (The compliments are doing something, acting on, Susan’s self-confidence.)
EXAMPLE: Bob waited to see if his joke would have the same effect that it did the last time he told it. (The verb is “has,” while “effect” is a noun.)
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Photo credit: Giuseppe Arcimboldo