Word Value

Effect vs Affect

Many people have problems deciding which one to use in a sentence, myself included. Effect and Affect have many definitions, as most words do these days, but the definitions I’m most familiar with made me wonder about how we use these words.

Specifically, effect means the consequence of an action (cause and effect), while affect means, among other things, to pretend or to assume (to affect an accent you don’t have).

Knowing these definitions I wonder why we use the word affection to mean that we have feelings for someone. Psychologically we should have “effection” for someone, because we feel emotions for them due to their actions. To have affection for someone makes it seem as though we are putting a fake emotion forward, using it as a facade. Perhaps that is why the definition for affection as a mode of showing love is considered archaic.  Yet I know people (again including me) who use it still today.

Consider your words.

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