“Affect” Versus “Effect”


Few words separated by a single letter cause as much confusion as “affect” and “effect.” Beyond their superficial similarity, the water is further muddied by the fact that each functions as a verb and noun. None of these forms is interchangeable, so keeping them straight is important. Let’s begin with some broad definitions: Affect (ǝ-FĚKT), as a verb, has two discrete meanings: to influence or to simulate, as in “The storm affected turnout at Richardson Auditorium” or “Professor James affected the dress and manners of an Ewardian don, much to the amusement of his students.” Affect (ĂF-ĕkt), as a noun, is a psychological [...]