When should the word “affect” be used rather than “effect?” Despite my English-Majorness, I’ve never mastered this rule.
I understand affect as noun that are refers to someone’s countenance (e.g. “he has a flat affect”) or as a transitive verb meaning “to make a false display of” (e.g. “he began to affect a British accent”) but the verb baffles me. Wiktionary’s explanation just left me more confused, especially since it lists “effect” as a synonym of “affect.” WHAT??
Saying “I want to affect policy in Washington” means I want to influence policy, yes?
And “the devastating effects of this policy” uses “effect.”
But for “this policy will negatively effect/affect people with disabilities,” which should be used??? AGHHHH!
English is a very difficult, irregular language!
Why? Why is our grammar and usage such a mishmash??
Because of this: