Effect or affect? Home or hone? Find out

Eloquent elixirs to counter the contagion of verbal vexations.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

The most common verbal errors spread the way the common cold does: One person picks it up from another, usually quite casually. The next thing you know, nearly everybody’s infected.

I compare these transgressions to a cold, as I am likening the two elements. Think of this: The critic compared his voice to that of Caruso. To draw a contrast, I would use compare with. “Caruso was a great singer, compared with you, Larry; you howl like an alley cat in labor.”

So, let’s treat the linguistic outbreaks—with some usage antibiotics.

Here’s hoping they will affect you positively, yielding a salubrious effect. Wow. These two near-homonyms are tough, because each can be used as a noun or a verb. Those are just the most common usages for each.

Effect vs. affect

Effect as a verb is to bring about, as in to effect change.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.