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Affect and Effect - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z

Affect and Effect - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z

Absolutely, these two words are often abused, as speakers and writers tend to use the interchangeably. May it not be so!

Both words may be used as nouns and verbs, but their dictionary meanings are very different.  As a verb, affect pertains to influence that produces change. The noun form points to an emotion. Effect, used as a verb, means to accomplish an end result, while its noun form points to the result itself.

Admittedly, this sounds absurdly confusion.

Consider these examples of correct uses of affect and effect.

The speaker’s dramatic photos affected her somewhat, although the knowledge he imparted did not effect a lasting change in her opinion. Perhaps the most long-lasting effects of the presentation included a more serious affect on her part, although she effectively refused to be affected by his theatrics.

Were these examples effective in affecting your use of affect and effect? (Yes, that sentence employs the dreaded passive voice, but I did it for effect.)

 This post is part of a month-long series at Working in Words, published in participation with the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. Please be sure to leave a comment. Remember to link to your own post, if you are an A-Zer!

Misused word pair
Created by this user
At CoolText
 Abused and misused word graphics
adapted from public domain artwork
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  1. I usually have to stop and think about these two. Hopefully, I get it right most of the time!

  2. Oh, I love this theme and post! I'm a professional copyeditor, so all these misuses and misunderstandings bug me more than they do many people. I will be back here every day to commiserate with you!

  3. These are tricky. I have to look them up when I use them.


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