How does one start a blog? Maybe you write a lovely introduction about your plans for the blog, how wonderful and useful it’ll be and how readers just must read it, preferably regularly. Man, I hope not. I’ve been trying to write this intro for far too long, and it’s holding up the posts I do have written. You know, the ones you’re actually here for. Besides, what if I change my mind? Do I want to be tied down to a set of expectations that don’t turn out well? Do you?
Maybe you just start writing and hope your readers (whoever they turn out to be) will figure out what you’re about. That doesn’t seem very likely. After all, how long will you stick around to discover what the heck I’m going to talk about week after week? No, I wouldn’t stick around, either.
Maybe it’s a bit of both: a brief outline of what I want to share with you, with the hope that it will actually work, and a taste of what posts will be like. So. My vision for The Writing Resource is to help you write a little better, sound a little smarter, need an editor a little less. This blog should be a resource for writers, editors, and others concerned with good grammar, usage, and style. I’ll try things out, see what you like. I’ll depend on your feedback on what works and what doesn’t. To start, you’ll find:
• quick grammar points
• interesting words and their definitions
• quizzes to help you brush up your skills (don’t worry, I’ll also give you the answers!)
• writing resources, on- and offline
• my knowledge: send me your questions and I’ll tackle them here!
Given that, let’s start with a Grammar Bite. Let me know what you think.
Affecting an Effect?
Is it affect or effect? These terms are confusing because they have several meanings each and can act as both nouns and verbs, though not all uses are common. And every once in a while, a less-common use is the one you want. So here’s a quick rundown.
v. “to influence how a thing happens or is experienced.” This is the most common use of affect.
It can also mean to assume the characteristics of (feign), to tend toward, and more.
n. “the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes.” “Patients…showed perfectly normal reactions and affects.” — Oliver Sacks
v. “to cause to come into being,” produce: Social media could effect a dramatic change on digital marketing.
Also, “to bring about especially through successful use of factors contributory to the result,” accomplish, execute: “effect a settlement of a dispute.”
n. “the result or outcome of some action.” This is the most common use of “effect.”
It can also mean purpose, intent. Or reality, fact. Or influence. And more.
I highly recommend the Grammar Handbook. It’s a great little resource for quick questions: Is it “beside” or “besides”? What’s the difference between “compose” and “comprise”? What’s a “misplaced modifier” and how can I fix it?