Today, we examine the difference between the words "effect" and "affect". I think this one's a bit tricky to get your head around at first (as opposed to, say, not putting apostrophes in plurals, which is really fucking easy when it comes down to it), so we'll be introducing a stars system of difficulty. This one rates four stars out of five.
It's tricky because both words can be used either as a noun or as a verb, some of the meanings interlink, and often we don't distinguish the initial vowels when we say them out loud.
Here's the deal:
effect: a change produced by a cause; a result
affect: mood (psychological term e.g. bipolar depression is a disorder of affect.)
effect: to make happen
affect: to have an effect on something (Awooga Awooga - there's the other word. This is why people get confused, I think.); to put on a show of (e.g. to affect an accent)
With these posts, I hope to affect people's attitudes and indeed effect a change in people's lexical choices, but effectively I am preaching to the converted and, in effect, I am surely delusional; the long-term effect of this will be that I am doomed to suffer affective disorder of increasing severity as the weeks go by.