Special Effects

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This isn’t about Cameron’s Avatar, but it is a mental link, hopefully, to remember the difference between affect and effect –a common error even with native English speakers, and not surprising when they sound the same. Grammatically speaking, ‘affect’ is the verb, as in ‘to affect’ someone or something. One could say, “You affect me.” or “My sense of reality has been affected.”. Both examples here are using ‘affect’ as a verb in some form. Now, ‘effect’ — that’s a noun. It’s acting as a thing as in “Cameron’s special effects in Avatar were amazing.” or “The effect of not studying grammar leaves one’s writing weak.”. Hopefully, that clears that up and you’ll be able to effectively use ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ (and, yes, I just used an adverb form.) Ah, the flexibility of English. Gotta love it.

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