Ensuring the effect is not affected?

Subject: Ensuring the effect is not affected?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 12:34:54 -0500

Mandy wondered: <<I'm pretty sure I know how to use "that" and "which" properly, which is an accomplishment in itself.>>

And one with many exceptions. "That which does not kill us makes us stronger". Using the restrictive "that" and the nonrestrictive "which" is now considered good style, but that's a fairly recent stylistic choice and not one you can rely on the modern reader to recognize. Rely on context and punctuation to help make the meaning clear.

<<But I can never remember when to use effect and when to use affect... does anyone have a good mnemonic or other handy way of remembering?>>

If you are affected by something (not "effected"), then surely that something affects (not "effects") you.

<<I know that effect is nearly always a noun, except when it isn't, and affect is a verb, except for when it's not.>>

If you're writing in a somewhat older (not necessarily old-fashioned) style, you could certainly effect (bring about) a change. And if you are writing as a psychologist, your emotional reaction to this problem would demonstrate clearly that you do not lack for affect. Other than those situations, it shouldn't really be an issue,

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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