Posted by: Jack Henry | June 22, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Affect, Effect, and Aflac

Affect and effect are always high on the list of topics we’re asked to revisit. I received this little tidbit that I thought I’d add to our many explanations through the years (go to Editor’s Corner and search affect for more). This is from The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation newsletter:

· Rule: Use the verb effect when you mean “bring about” or “brought about,” “cause” or “caused.”

Example: He effected a commotion in the crowd.
Meaning: He caused a commotion in the crowd.
Example: She effected a change in procedure.
Meaning: She brought about a change in procedure.

· Rule: Use the noun effect when you mean “result.”
Example: What effect did that speech have?

· Rule: Use the verb affect when you mean “to influence” rather than “to cause.”
Example: How do the budget cuts affect your staffing?

· Rule: Affect is also used as a noun to mean “emotional expression.”
Example: She showed little affect when told she had won the lottery.

Of course, these should not be confused with Aflac® the insurance company…

Or Affleck, of the Ben variety…

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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