November 17, 2005

Vowel syndromes

Writing about web page http://www.answers.com

Entries this week have effected nauseous feelings. A pedant myself, I was affected by the poor use of two verbs in particular. With the help of answers.com, I hope you will take notice.

effect
tr.v., -fect·ed, -fect·ing, -fects.

  1. To bring into existence.
  2. To produce as a result.
  3. To bring about.

affect
tr.v., -fect·ed, -fect·ing, -fects.

  1. To have an influence on or effect a change in: Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
  2. To act on the emotions of; touch or move.
  3. To attack or infect, as a disease: Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.

USAGE NOTE Affect and effect have no senses in common. As a verb affect is most commonly used in the sense of “to influence” (how smoking affects health). Effect means “to bring about or execute”: layoffs designed to effect savings. Thus the sentence These measures may affect savings could imply that the measures may reduce savings that have already been realized, whereas These measures may effect savings implies that the measures will cause new savings to come about.


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Adair

    wow, your knowledge of the English language is really beginning to shame us natives! thanks for your informative entry

    17 Nov 2005, 00:36

  2. Thanks dude! Just copied that from the website though. In general, I tend to notice when something just sounds wrong, rather than do everything right myself. I'll probably end up in some bureaucratic environment where the rest of the world will hate me for the work I do. For instance, the kind of guy that keeps on reminding you you owe them something [say, a pen with their name on it?]

    17 Nov 2005, 01:23

  3. Hayley

    You owe me a sudoku in different shades of pink…

    (just as a point relating to your comment above…)

    Also, I love your grammar obsession… it's worse than mine!! (effect isn't always a verb though! Sorry, had to slip that in…)

    17 Nov 2005, 18:39

  4. I know, I omitted the other meanings just to point out the difference between the two verbs. Thanks for the sudoku reminder! I'll see what I can do!

    17 Nov 2005, 20:20


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