Affect or Effect?

This question came up  while I was proof reading a report earlier today. A colleague was not sure which word to use or  in what context. Affect or effect? It’s a common question and the answer is not always simple with words that look similar or sound similar.

Let’s take a quick look at the various meanings of both.

The word effect has several meanings. Used as a noun it can be an outward appearance, an impression, the sent real meaning of a literary work, a symptom caused by a drug, a phenomenon caused by a previous phenomenon or even refer to legal validity. As a verb effect can mean to produce or to bring something into existence. On the other hand we have affect which is quite different in meaning.

As a noun affect can refer to the subjective aspect of feeling or emotion. While used as a verb affect can mean to have an effect upon someone either physically or emotionally.

By the way, a noun is a naming word while a verb denotes an action.

Some examples:

The lipstick enhanced her features to great effect.

The boy only did what he did for effect.

The law is still in effect.

The Coriolis effect.

Will the new road rules affect me?

The medication I take affects my blood pressure.

It really affects me when my baby cries.