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Effect/Affect

October 2, 2012

So yesterday I broke down effect/affect for my developmental students, and realized that nobody had ever given them a complete explanation. Instead, they’d been given absurd explanations like “affect is for emotions and effect is for events” which contain dangerous and meaningless half-truths but utterly fail to explain that affect and effect are really five words pretending to be two words that sound like one word.

If I have time later today, I’ll break them down and explain with examples, though I’m sure somebody else has already done it better. When you break it down, it makes plenty of sense, even if it’s a sort of absurd sense. I’m sure it would make more sense if one is familiar with the Latin prepositions ad and ex, but maybe we don’t need to go there …

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From → Teaching

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