Obiter Dictum

Woman's virtue is man's greatest invention --- Cornelia Otis Skinner

Tuesday, September 19

My arch nemesis

So I'm looking through grammar books this morning and I came across the Blue Book of Grammar. It has 3 holds right now, and has gone out a fair number of times, so I'm behind the curve here. But, I also hate grammar. Yes, that's right. I hate grammar. It was my worst grade in my major in undergrad. And, even though I have two English degrees, I hate grammar.

Detest grammar.

So, I'm looking through this book and I come across the Effect v. Affect page. Here is the rule:

Rule 1: Use effect when you mean bring about or brought about, cause or caused. Example: He effected a commotion in the crowd.

Rule 2: Use effect when you mean result. Example: What effect did that speech have?

Rule 3: Also use effect whenever any of these words precede it: a, an, the, no, any, take, into.
Note: These words may be separated from effect by an adjective.
Example: That book had a long lasting effect on my thinking.
Has the medicine produced any noticeable effects?

Rule 4: If none of the above fit, use affect.

Now, I thought this was an easy way to remember it. Pretty much, use effect unless you don't. But does that tell you anything about the word "affect"? I don't know. Grammarians, is this correct? Have I been making this way too hard all these years? I think I've been using it right..... (ha, but how would I know?)


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