Make it a Blockbuster Night
Sometimes I get tripped up by words so similar, they might as well be the same word. It’s like the movies The Illusionist and The Prestige. Both came out in 2006. Both are about magicians. They should have only made of them. This is how I also feel about the words “affect” and “effect.” Allow me to offer some ways to remember when to use each word correctly.
Affect starts with “a” which stands for action. An affect changes something. Usually, affect is a verb. I have never been affected by lackluster Ben Affleck flicks. Movies have the potential to change us, however when you’re cranking out duds like Gigli and Daredevil, the only thing being affected is my will to live. This is fun–I feel like I’m on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Maybe I should start a second column where I lampoon lousy movies from the 2000s.
Effect is the result of the affect’s change. Usually, effect is a noun. Here’s an example: The special effects in Nicolas Cage’s portrayal of Ghost Rider made me want to take my face off. Or how about: Side effects of watching Nicolas Cage’s Wicker Man include massive disappointment and the feeling you’ll never get those two hours of your life back. Don’t get me wrong–I love many Nic Cage films. He’s appeared in 87 movies, and roughly 13 of them are fantastic.
Do you think you understand affect/effect now? Great. It’s time for some exceptions (thanks, English). Occasionally, “affect” can be a noun and “effect” can be a verb. As a noun, “affect” means a feeling or emotional response. For example: When I watched Fantastic Four in theaters, my affect was upset and angry. As a verb, “effect” means “to bring about.” An example: If you really want to effect change in America, build a time machine and tell them to never make From Justin to Kelly.
Who knew you could learn grammar by reminiscing about movies you’re too proud to admit you checked out from Blockbuster (back when that was a thing)? I actually kind of liked Spiderman 3; it had quite the affect on me.