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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Criminal Sentence 282: What an affect/effect!

From a book I'm reading:

"... if I don't affect some change in the nature of things, I shall be quite ruined..."

Affect/effect is one of those pairs that trips people up.

Affect as a verb means to influence, as in Her sleepiness did not affect the outcome.
Affect as a noun is a psychiatric term that refers to someone's demeanor, as in He had flat affect.
Effect as a verb often goes with "change," as in If you want to effect change, you must...
Effect as a noun often goes with "cause," as in Cause and effect: The effect of the chocolate was immediate.

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