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Effect vs. Affect

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Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:44 pm
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Nate says...

There are lots of commonly misused words, and no doubt they number in the hundreds or even thousands. However, the most commonly misused words I always see are "effect" and "affect."

Many times, the easiest way to discern the difference between two words is to take a look at their Latin roots. In this case:
    - Effect comes from the Latin verb effectus, meaning performance or to result.
    - Affect comes from the Latin verb affectus, meaning influenced or worked upon, and affectus is most commonly used when talking about emotions or feelings.

Make a little more sense now? We use 'effect' when we want to say an action directly brought about a change. We use 'affect' when we to say an action influenced a change. To effect something is to result in a change; hence, cause and effect. To affect something is to influence it or to make an impression upon it.

Here are some examples:

    - Little Timmy Johansen was not affected by the teacher scraping her nails against the blackboard, and so continued to throw spitballs at the girl who not only sat in front of him, but who he also secretly loved.

    - The spitballs caused Susie MacIntosh to effect a powerful blow to the head of the boy who sat behind her, who she did think was kind of cute but mostly just annoying.

    - A sudden blow to the head affected Little Timmy Johansen's asthma, and he was soon gasping for breath.

    - Susie MacIntosh felt several side effects from her punch, including, but by no means limited to, one bruised index finger.

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Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:40 pm
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mandeyy says...

Latin !
This is wonderful , thanks for the Latin words , that helped very much . (:
i sleep under yer bed .

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Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:18 am
captain.classy says...

You saved my life with this. This is the number one thing I have trouble with.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
— Mark Twain