Friday, January 8, 2016

AN ANSWER TO A GRAMMATICAL CONCERN

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When I started my TIP TUESDAY feature, I promised I would answer your questions about grammar. Some of you asked questions immediately, and I want to provide grammatical healing now that we've recovered from the holidays.

Well, most of us have recovered.
On the first TIP TUESDAY, Andrea at Maybe it's just me commented . . .

This sounds like useful fun! (Perhaps that was the desired effect? Affect? Um, can you tell me a handy way to keep those straight?) Fozzie says being a dog is truly exhausting even at a basic rest 
level.

Obviously, Fozzie understands how the puppy in the photo feels. Fozzie understands me, too.


Yes, Andrea. I can tell you a handy way to keep effect and affect straight.



EFFECT = NOUN


AFFECT = VERB


Examples: Lady Mary had quite an effect on Mr. Pamuk. 


Lady Mary affected Mr. Pamuk in ways she never thought possible!

Notice a small but important difference between the two sentences. The noun has the word "an" in  front of it. An is an article. You used effect correctly in your comment, and I know it's correct because you used the article the. The noun is sad and weak, and needs a little article to prop it up. 


English articles are 

A


An


The



By thinking in terms of “the effect,” you can usually sort out which is which, because you can’t stick a “the” in front of a verb. While some people do use “effect” as a verb (“a strategy to effect a settlement”), they are usually lawyers, and you should therefore ignore them if you want to write like a human. (source: copyblogger)


So if you use an article, Andrea and Gentle Readers, and you have to choose between effect and affect, the correct answer is effect.

I'll try to continue to answer at least one grammatical question each week. I have a couple of others in the original TIP TUESDAY comments. If you have other concerns, please email me at dumpedfirstwife@gmail.com.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thank you, fishducky.
P.S. It's been a while since I reviewed a book. I'll have a good one for you on Monday.

47 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for explaining this in a way I think I might be able to remember!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you forget, then ask me again. I won't remember that I already explained it.

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  2. This post has had a positive effect on the quality of your Tuesday posts.

    That might not be correct...all your posts are helpful and perfect.

    Affectionately yours,
    Cherdo

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  3. Excellent advice. Though, I'm not sure I'll always follow. I write how I speak, ya know? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothin' wrong with that. It's not as if you have to write a dissertation.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this tip, Janie! This is much easier than how I was taught in grade school - though I vaguely remember grade school and college didn't teach grammar. Printing this!

    Love,
    Jessica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most schools no longer teach grammar.

      Delete
  5. Good tips, kiddo. And OH, but I LOVE that mug! It is oh-so true, too.

    Happy New Year! I hope you had a fantabulous holiday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had two raspberry frozen margaritas with a sugar rim on New Year's Eve. I was quite happy.

      Delete
  6. Did my grammar questions not post? Or were they too rudimentary? I swear I asked multiple grammar questions when you announced the change in direction. Maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe my questions stank. Understandable either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall answer one question at a time. Wait your turn. For now, take a slow deep breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Soon it will be time to push that baby out.

      Delete
  7. Oh my gosh, I'll still get affect and effect mixed up. I get the differences between an and a though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then you're better off than a large percentage of people who are supposed to be native speakers of English. I meet many Hispanic and Latino people whose English is better than that of gringos.

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    2. I see a lot of people spell "A Lot" wrong. I see allot and alot. It's 2 words. I used to be horrible with spelling. I'm still not the best, but I'm much better than I used to be.

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  8. Thank you, Janie. That's always been a tough one for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I learned that till I was about forty years old.

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  9. Hi Janie - always good to remind us of grammar snippets - how I ever learnt grammar I'll never know - but I must be of the absorbing sort! Cheers Hilary

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    Replies
    1. I think the best way to learn grammar is to read good books. I bet you read a lot.

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  10. Hi Janie - not sure if I punched the move away from blog button too early after commenting ... so I shall see now - I thank goodness I can basically understand grammar - I'm sure I get it wrong sometimes, and if someone explains in technical terms then I'm lost! However essentially I've been lucky and am able to cope. Cheers Hilary

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  11. Replies
    1. I want the saying on a t-shirt. It will make people stare at my boobs.

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  12. I taught science, and it gets on my nerves to see these two words misused.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I still struggle with affect and effect, but now that I know one is a noun and the other is a verb it should be a lot easier to keep straight. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think this is wonderful and slightly intimidating. I too, have a terrible time with both. I'm 44 and sometimes wonder if there is a point where i should just give up. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it depends on the kind of writing you do. If you need to write formal articles and essays, or you want to write a book, then never give up. If you write your blog and casual notes, then as long as your meaning is clear, why worry?

      Delete
  15. I think this is wonderful and slightly intimidating. I too, have a terrible time with both. I'm 44 and sometimes wonder if there is a point where i should just give up. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My response remains the same. It doesn't matter how many times you ask me.

      Delete
  16. I got so mixed up about these that I kind of quit using affect, I think. Maybe now I will remember. ;)

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  17. That had the effect of affecting me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But the psychologist wants to know what your affect is today. My affect is flat.

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  18. Good one
    Useful
    Happy new year
    http://shilpachandrasekheran.blogspot.in/?m=1

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  19. Great tip. I've always seen people thrown by effect and affect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's confusing until you use the article trick.

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  20. This is a wonderful public service you're performing, Janie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so nice. You are a good person.

      Delete
  21. Woot! And I'm glad to have found an editor for the future. Plus an awesome fierce and funny kindred blogland spirit. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fierce? Not really. I'm usually as relaxed as Franklin and Penelope. They're asleep on the floor in front of me.

      Delete
  22. Affect and effect were created just to mess with us, especially when you realize that not only can effect sometimes be a verb, but affect can be used as a noun occasionally ("a person's affect"). It's like the words were solely invented to make us feel stupid and wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, they were invented to make you feel stupid and wrong and to make me feel superior.

      Delete
  23. Great tip! And I loved your comment about lawyers!!! Hahaha. Good one!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    Replies
    1. I hate to disabuse you of the notion that I'm brilliant, but I didn't make the lawyer comment. A source for that section is in parentheses.

      Delete

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