One More Time: “Affect” and “Effect”

Margie Wakeman Wells General Leave a Comment

Putting aside the word affect as it is used in the psychiatric world to mean the “an observed emotional response” — …the flat affect of the patient… — the  statement “Affect is a verb; effect is a noun” just doesn’t quite cover it.

Effect can be a verb. When it is, it means “bring about” or “make happen.” Substitute those words directly. If you have a verb and these words work, choose effect.

…Her death effected so much sadness in the community.
…Her death brought about so much sadness in the community.

…His new job has effected a whole new attitude from him.
…His new job has brought about a whole new attitude from him.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

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