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Grammar Slammer

Affect VS. Effect

 This blog post just kind of came to me randomly, and isn’t at all what I expected my next post to be, especially with my planned birthday theme. However, this is something that constantly perplexes me, as I am sure it perplexes many others.

As soon as I get a clear picture in my mind how to use these two words, it seems as though I have lost grasp of reality again. Every time I make a public post for a class or work, I fear that arrogant individual that will point at my words and say “HAHA That is wrong! Why were you ever a teacher? Clearly public school English class has failed you!”  So I thought I would post some definitions of these two to clear some things:


to produce an effect upon: as , to produce a material influence upon or alteration in , to act upon (as a person or a person’s mind or feelings) so as to produce a response : influence


 to cause to come into being

 Other notes it puts on here about this:

“Effect and affect are often confused because of their similar spelling and pronunciation. The verb 2affect usually has to do with pretense <she affected a cheery disposition despite feeling down>. The more common 3affect denotes having an effect or influence <the weather affected everyone’s mood>. The verb effect goes beyond mere influence; it refers to actual achievement of a final result <the new administration hopes to effect a peace settlement>. The uncommon noun affect, which has a meaning relating to psychology, is also sometimes mistakenly used for the very common effect. In ordinary use, the noun you will want is effect <waiting for the new law to take effect> <the weather had an effect on everyone’s mood>.”

 I mean, does it bother anyone that the word effect is used in the definition for affect? Why? Who came up with this? Now that I have refreshed myself, I feel a little bit better about the whole situation. For those interested, you should check out Hank Green’s weblog post in which he discusses some embarrassing mistakes, including affect vs. effect.


* Definition pulled from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary


Other handy resource in regards to a lot of grammar info is http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/affect-versus-effect.aspx

* By the way, I am an intelligent individual months away from getting my Master’s degree, so I do understand a thing or two about grammar. However, I also have come into the understanding over the years that there are a lot of rules in the literary world that at times do not make sense! No matter how educated we are, we also all make mistakes in one form or another. I have also realized that we never stop learning, and these rules are still important to master. 🙂

* I will post this as soon as I stop proofreading for grammatical errors.

Hank Green’s Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIvrDsnKuQ8


One comment on “Grammar Slammer

  1. LOL….I was thinking the same thing about effect being used in the definition of affect. 🙂

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