Posted by: Jack Henry | April 18, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Affect and Effect Annual Visitation

Can you explain the difference between affect and effect?

This is probably the most frequently asked question I get. And boy do I get it! I sometimes have problems with when to use affect and effect, too. In fact, I believe I gave a friend the incorrect information at dinner the other night, which is why I also tried to distract her with a glass of hard cider. When personally faced with this challenge, sometimes I just rewrite the sentence so I’m sure I’m using the right word.

I have generally figured out that affect is used more often as a verb, and effect is used more often as a noun. How does this help? Well, in basic circumstances like this:

· The poison in the well affected (verb) the taste of the water.

· The rainfall this year had the effect (noun) of painting the desert with wildflowers.

· A bad attitude might affect (verb) your whole evening.

· The sound effects (noun) in that movie were fantastic!

But here’s the tough part: what about when affect is a noun, and effect is a verb?

· May I please speak with someone who can effect (verb) change? No more of this nonsense with passing the buck!

· That guy had the affect (noun) of a spoiled rich kid who had never been told no.

Officially, here are some definitions from Merriam-Webster:

affect (verb): To produce an effect upon.[KC – Okay, this is from the dictionary. I’d like to say, “Thanks, but no thanks, M-W. Are you kidding me?” Let’s try again.]

· affect (verb): To act on. To cause. To produce a response in someone.

· affect (noun): psychology a set of observable manifestations of an experienced emotion : the facial expressions, gestures, postures, vocal intonations, etc., that typically accompany an emotion

· effect (verb): to succeed in doing or achieving (something) : to cause or bring about (something) : accomplish 2 : to make (something, such as a plan or policy) functional or operative : to put (something) into effect

· effect (noun): a change that occurs as a consequence of something that happens or is done : something that follows from an antecedent : result, outcome

I hope this helps!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: