Affect vs. Effect = Influence vs. Result

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“What Is the Difference Between Affect and Effect?

Before we get to the memory trick though, I want to explain the difference between the two words: The majority of the time you use affect with an a as a verb and effect with an e as a noun.

 When Should You Use Affect?

Affect with an a means “to influence,” as in, “The arrows affected Aardvark,” or “The rain affected Amy’s hairdo.” Affect can also mean, roughly, “to act in a way that you don’t feel,” as in, “She affected an air of superiority.”

When Should You Use Effect?

Effect with an e has a lot of subtle meanings as a noun, but to me the meaning “a result” seems to be at the core of all the definitions. For example, you can say, “The effect was eye-popping,” or “The sound effects were amazing,” or “The rain had no effect on Amy’s hairdo.””

To read the full article on Affect vs. Effect from Grammar Girl at, click HERE.

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Grammar Up, It’s Important

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“Read up on Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

Before you get offended for me saying such a suggestion, let me elaborate. There are some common misspellings found on the internet; two such lists are found here and here. “It’s and its”, “there and their”, “loose and lose” and so on. So if you make such a common mistake, people will see you as an amateur.

Grammar mistakes are as common as spelling mistakes. Some new school people say go ahead and break the grammar rules. That may be good advice for a few of them (for example, you should break the no sentence ending with a preposition rule and you’re perfectly free to begin a sentence with ‘and’ and ‘but’ if it appeals to you).

But not all grammar rules were made by stodgy people, and most make sense. If it appeals to you to break them, go ahead, but you must know the reason why you broke it in the first place, and why it wasn’t appropriate. If you don’t know that you broke a rule or why, your credibility goes out of the window.

In the same way, people make punctuation mistakes often without realizing that they did it. The confusion between “me, myself and I”, the improper and incorrect use of the apostrophe (some people have campaigned for its being banned since it causes so much confusion among people) etc has become rapidly larger and larger.

So that is why, if you really want to become a credible writer who is not governed by the rules, go read up on grammar, spelling and punctuation. A single book or two will clear confusions, enable to break rules knowing why you broke them, consciously following sensible rules and more.

Tip: – Don’t rely on Microsoft Word’s Grammar Checker. Its spell check is all right, but the grammar tool is atrocious. Many has been the time that it shows up its infamous green line under my words and calls out for incorrect and so called grammatically correct changes. Have you ever seen a “Fragment (consider revising)” call to change? It’s perfectly all right to ignore that, because you’re not writing a textbook, you’re a creative writer.”

For more excellent tips on writing from Writers’ Treasure, click here.

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OK, ok, okay, o.k.

In college, there were style manuals for everything— APA, AMA, AMS, CSE, ACS, LSE…all Style Guides for writing. Did you know…they do not necessarily apply to any part of professional writing outside of the university level? The only Style Guides that cross a few of the barriers from academia to the real world, are the sciences and health—and even with those, it is not across the board.

An example of this, is the commonly used word, okay.

  • Uses that are never accepted by any of the styles, are o.k., k, and ok.
  • University expectations have OK as acceptable, and in some instances, the Style Guides for professional writing accept OK as well.
  • If you want to avoid having to research every time, just to see if you spelled okay acceptably for the particular publication you seek—then the version that is always accepted, is the word spelled out. Okay? Perfect.

Who, Which, and That…Oh my!

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Who, Which, That:

“Do not use which to refer to persons. Use who instead. That, though generally used to refer to things, may be used to refer to a group or class of people.

    • I just saw a boy who was wearing a yellow banana costume.
    • I have to go to math next, which is my hardest class.
    • Where is the book that I was reading?”

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