Monday, June 16, 2014

Can I Affect An Effect?

My wife asked me this morning the difference between affect and effect. I must admit I have struggled with the difference between the two words myself. I know that the word affect is used to describe the lack of emotion or facial expression in a mental health type setting or situation. And I always believed that effect was what you used for everything else. Apparently I was wrong.

I looked up the difference between the two when Arden asked me about it. What I found gave me a greater understanding of the two words.... NOT.

From The word "affect" means to produce a change in something. "Effect" is defined as a result of something or the ability to bring about a result.

Wait... huh? These are different? If you produce a change in something isn't that change the result? And if you do something that has a result, haven't you in actuality change it?

The website goes presents some examples of each word:
What effect did the loss have on the team?

The prescribed medication had an effect on the patient's symptoms.

In analyzing a situation, it is important to take the concepts of cause and effect into consideration.

Their examples for the word affect are as follows:

The young man with schizophrenia had a flat affect.

The woman took the news of her husband's sudden death with little affect.

How does the crime rate affect hiring levels by local police forces?

The weather conditions will affect the number of people who come to the county fair this year.

Got it now? Nah - me neither. Gotta love the English language.

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