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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (February 20, 2007)

The Effect of Affect

Here's a problem I see often as a teacher: students who can't tell the difference between the noun, effect, and the verb, affect. Given our recent tendency to make nouns into verbs (see "impact" in any dictionary), it can be a difficult distinction. Here's an example:

The noise of the drill affects the worker's hearing. Unfortunately, the effect of the noisy drill on his ears was a serious loss of hearing.

Be careful when using either of these words.

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