| || |
February 25, 2008 - Bill Ackerbauer
The same way a bird-watcher gets excited about a chance encounter with a rare winged specimen, a true grammar geek enjoys stumbling upon an uncommon bit of language when it's used correctly.
So I was pleased this morning to see the editors of the Annie's Mailbox column (on Page 11 in today's print edition) use the uncommon verb form of the word effect:
If your grandfather attends church, try enlisting the help of his clergyperson to effect a reconciliation before it’s too late.
Effect (with an e) is most often used as a noun (meaning result); the word affect (with an a) is usually a verb (usually meaning to influence or to change). The verb affect has an additional sense, one indicating an ostentatious display or pretense. For example:
Bob affected the serious tone of a television news anchor reporting a tragedy.
These words are problematic for many people, however, because they both have multiple meanings, and the meanings are interrelated.
The verb effect, as it is judiciously used in the example above, means to bring about.
The noun affect is an odd bird indeed, and of all of the uses of effect and affect, it is the one least likely to be used correctly. It means, according to Meriam-Webster's, "the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes." Since I can't seem to wrap my mind around that definition, I must conclude that I am incapable of using affect as a noun.
Not effectively, at least.
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment
News, Blogs & Events Web