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Affecting vs. Effecting
2

Affecting vs. Effecting

Affecting vs. Effecting

(OP)
I've started to recognize the difference in effect and affect but in this case I am stumped:

Closing the valve allows the operator to add water without affecting the operation of the system.

Is this correct?  

I was thinking that the operator would need to affect the operation before it would be effected.  Does this make sense?

Thanks,

David

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Generally, "Affect" is a verb (i.e. "Crops are affected by the weather.").  "Effect" is a noun (i.e. "Hall Effect").

As a verb, "effect" means to implement (like a plan).

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Effect is typically used as a noun.  Closing the valve does not have an effect on the system.
Affect is typically used as a verb.  Closing the valve does not affect the system.
Effect is normally not used as a verb except in b.s. speak, like politician's talk about effecting change.

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

(OP)
Thank you, I'll stick to the general rules for the time being.  

The last post I read before posting was discussing the differences in "these measures affect savings" and "these measures effect savings." The cloudiness set in.

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

I think affect is correct, although it is muddied by the structure of the sentence.

It is not really clear if affect is to be associated with "closing the valve" or "add water".

Consider also:

What is the purpose of adding water if not to affect the system in some way?

I'm sure the sentence could be restructured, or broken into two sentences to improve its clarity, but without knowing more about the context I can't suggest how.

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Sentence looks fine to me.  It implies that if no one closed the valve, then adding water would affect the operation of the system.  I don't see how to grammatically link affect to closing.

"I was thinking that the operator would need to affect the operation before it would be effected.  Does this make sense?"

None whatsoever.  For the operator to affect the operation, that means the operator would need to alter the operation.  Affect doesn't in the least bit mean initiate.  Effect as a verb does kind of mean initiate, but when in doubt, just avoid effect as a verb; most of the time it's just a misspelling of affect.

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Quote:

Affect doesn't in the least bit mean initiate.

Yes it does.

Dictionary.com Unabridged

af·fect –verb (used with object)
1.    to act on; produce an effect or change in: Cold weather affected the crops.

The effect of closing the valve is not affecting the system operation when water is added.

If you do not close the valve, then the act of adding water is  assumed to affect the system in some way, which is presumed to have some effect on operation.

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

This is going to be another long chain forum posting. :)

Affect is acting on something in any way.  "Sneezing in my hand affected my hygiene.”

Effect is the result or causing of something.  "Sneezing into my hand had the effect of making me unhygienic.”

Matt Lorono
CAD Engineer/ECN Analyst
Silicon Valley, CA
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources
Co-moderator of Solidworks Yahoo! Group
and Mechnical.Engineering Yahoo! Group

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Just to add to that, both words can be verb or noun, but with different uses.  

For example,

“I will effect my hand to my mouth to cover my sneeze.”

“I was surprised by my affect on the opinions of others.”

“Even though I didn’t need to make any modifications to the wording, I affected the assembly procedure by redesigning this component.”

“I effected change in the assembly process to improve efficiency without having to change the assembly procedure.”

Matt Lorono
CAD Engineer/ECN Analyst
Silicon Valley, CA
Lorono's SolidWorks Resources
Co-moderator of Solidworks Yahoo! Group
and Mechnical.Engineering Yahoo! Group

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Both words can act as either a verb or a noun - although only one form of each is common, and the other has a more or less specialist meaning.

Affect (Verb) - Commonly used - To influence or alter something.

Effect (Noun) - Commonly used - The change which results from something else.

....so if A affects B to cause C, C is A's effect upon B.

But there are also:

Effect (Verb) - Used in general English, though less commonly than the first 2 forms - To bring something about - as in "I need to effect a change in policy" (note that what I'm effecting is the change, if I'd wanted to talk about the policy, I'd "affect" it).

Affect (Noun) - Much more specialised - A medical term describing the emotional state of an individual (as in: "Flattened affect is a frequent symptom of schizophrenia".

A

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Too many people all typing at the same time!

A.

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

in your OP, I'd say that using "effecting" would mean that the operator didn't (intentionally or not) cause the system to operate; "affecting" means that the system ignored the action of the operator and carried on operating (or possibly not operating).

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Little Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd Ed., 2002:
" Don't confuse affect and effect.  Affect means 'make a difference to' as in "the changes will affect everyone." As a verb effect means 'bring about a result', as in "she effected a cost-cutting exercise."" Mmmm

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

The discussion effected, for me, a better understanding about the words "effect" and "affect". It affected my common knowledge about the english language. The effect is that I would now better master the verb "to effect". Else it didn't affected my previous understanding of the difference between the verb "to affect" and the noun "effect".

Thank you

Danny Garant, ing.jr
Groupe Stavibel Inc.
www.stavibel.qc.ca

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

"Affect doesn't in the least bit mean initiate."
I agree with HgTx on that one.  

The example given above "Cold weather affected the crops." would certainly make no sense if we changed it to "Cold weather initiated the crops."

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Eng-tips forums: The best place on the web for engineering discussions.

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

electricpete:  Exactly!  "Affect" may have several meanings, but "initiate" is not one of them.

The meaning of "affect" that MintJulep cites, "to act on; produce an effect or change in," is not what "initiate" means.

fcsuper's examples are correct except for this one:

“I was surprised by my affect on the opinions of others.”

That one's no good.  That should be "effect".  "Affect" as a noun means feeling, emotion, mental state.  You could be surprised at the effect of your affect on others (as in, your aura was bumming them out).

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

I didn't mean that affect and initiate are exact equivalents.

However "affect" as "to act on; produce an effect or change in," can be used in a context where it means the same thing as "initiate".

"The launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union affected American policy, resulting in acceleration of America's space program."

"The launch of Sputnik initiated an acceleration of America's space program."

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Certainly true.  There is of course a difference between the verb affect and the verb effect.  The verb effect means "to bring about" or to "initiate" or to "accomplish".  (for example "to bring about a change").  Affect has a different meaning.  If you can't plug "initiate" or "bring about" or "accomplish" into the sentence, you can't use the verb effect.

=====================================
Eng-tips forums: The best place on the web for engineering discussions.

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

Just because you can use both verbs in rather different sentences with similar meanings doesn't mean they are synonymous.  If you have the same sentence with just that word changed, then you've demonstrated synonymity.

"Affect" as a verb does not mean "initiate".  "Effect" more or less does.

Hg

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Affecting vs. Effecting

An excerpt from Bill Bryson's Troublesome Words:


"affect, effect. As a verb, affect means to influence ("Smoking may affect your health") or to adopt a pose or manner ("She affected ignorance"). Effect as a verb means to accomplish ("The prisoners effected an escape"). As a noun, the word needed is almost always effect (as in "personal effects" or "the damaging effects of war"). Affect as a noun has a narrow psychological meaning to do with emotional states (by way of which it is related to affection)."

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