Monday, January 24, 2011

Affects & Effects

Odd words: affect and effect.  They're cleverly close, as if related - and to some degree they're symbiotic.  One begets the other.

Merriam and I argued a little over his definitions because he uses such big words to convey small nuances.  Oh well, he always wins this argument.  We learn ...

Affect =

1: feeling, affection

2: the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes; also : a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion
Effect =
1a : purport, intent b : basic meaning : essence
2: something that inevitably follows an antecedent (as a cause or agent)
3: an outward sign : appearance
4: accomplishment, fulfillment
5: power to bring about a result : influence

For me, both words - even in their nuanced state - relate directly to outcome.  What I FEEL as well as what I DO have implications.  My affections always lead to effections (new word), even though effections do not always lead to affections

It's not so much about "do"s and "don't"s, as it is about the choices I make about my responses to life, and to living.  It's about having 20/20 foresight in proportion to 20/20 hindsight (is that even possible?) ...

Everyone has heard about your obedience (affect),
so I rejoice (effect) because of you;
but I want you to be wise (affect) about what is good (effect),
and innocent (affect) about what is evil (effect).
Romans 16:19

For if you possess these qualities (affects)
in increasing measure, they will keep you from
being ineffective and unproductive (effects) in your
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
But whoever does not have them (affects) is nearsighted
and blind, forgetting (effects) that they have been
cleansed from their past sins. 
2 Peter 1:8-9

Either way, these conspiring kin can either make my day, or break it.  It all depends on how the affects of my heart move me towards the effects they engender.


Cindy said...

I often rely on the advice of Merriam as well! lol

This was a great message and clearly defines the difference between effect and affect. Thank you for sharing this.

Debbie said...

I honestly can't tell you how often I have tried to clear up the meaning of those two words before. Never really sure which one to write. Your definition was VERY good and clear but I have a feeling I will STILL find myself struggling between the two. Such a dork sometimes, haha Have a wonderful day'! HUGS

Karen Lange said...

Aha, makes you think, doesn't it? Each time I use either I stop and think, now is this right?

I like how you added this to the scripture. Adds another dimension.

Rebecca said...

What a great "word study"! (These are two words that I seem to always need to think about before I choose one or the other to use....)

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Sweetie...
What a precious share today. I love it. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have had to think about the effects that an affect can and has had on a thing or two, even three sometimes.

What a beautiful way to share today. Thank you sweet one. I can always rely on a lesson from you. I love it.

Hope you are well. Many hugs and much love sweetie, Sherry

Rose said...

Kathleen, I love the way you incorporated a word study in THE WORD!

Sonja said...

smiling as I read... again! My brain feels like a rubber band being stretched to just get the full picture of these 2 words going on at once. Do you think your words stretching my brain is kind of like iron sharpening iron?? I do! :)

Just a little something from Judy said...

I marvel at how you can take something that I have struggled with for years and make it all seem so clear. Just like you to do that for me. Next time I come to the decision as to which one to use, I am coming here and reading this post again. I have a few more words I have problems with. Perhaps you could post of those too, such as stationary and stationery:) You are so helpful to me.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

yes and yes...with a smile on my face, you have made such a good point and I think it got embedded into my head...thanks

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

This one occasionally trips me up. I've never seen the two words applied to scripture like that - very clever.

Jackie said...

Great word study, Kathleen!

Your insight affected my heart!