April 11, 2009

Grammar is the Spanish to My Language Fly

I am incredibly disappointed in my collegiate Alma mater these days. First of all, known girlfriend beater Chris Brown stopped by to play some basketball in the college gym. Why? I don't know- it was totally random. What I do know is he was there and he was there during domestic violence awareness week. No one batted an eye. Women were posing with him for pictures left and right. No school officials took the opportunity to address the tremendous irony. He was just a celebrity to them. Everyone seemed to forget that he's a celebrity who beat his girlfriend.

Second of all this is the cover of my school's magazine:

Read the blurbie about the women in courage. Notice anything amiss? No? Well, it's time for another grammar quiz, boys and girls. Affect vs. effect. Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun. Want an incredibly easy way to remember that? A sound EFFECT is a thing. Now you have NO REASON to get that wrong ever again. Let's try, shall we?

1. With UMW degrees Afghan women aspire to affect change in their native land.

2. The appearance of a domestic abuser during DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS WEEK had no affect on the college community.

3. My favorite president visited UMW with Joe Biden whilst on the campaign trail. His policies are going to effect our nation for generations to come- good or bad.

So. Let's see how we all did. If you guessed #1 as correct, then you know the cover of the magazine was wrong, SO WRONG, and you know your grammar. As for #2, if this was your choice you are a lover of irony but not of grammar. If you guessed #3, you are WRONG and you need to refresh the lesson.

Full disclosure, the cover isn't REALLY wrong outright. There is an old rule that states that use as an exception. BUT THAT IS THE EXCEPTION NOT THE RULE!!!!!

I hope we all learned something here today. I know I did. My school needs to rethink its image...


Tina Winston said...

They have actually used the word correctly in this instance. The verb "To effect" when used with an object (a noun, in this case, "change") means to bring about or to accomplish. So "to effect change" = "to bring about change" the way it is used here.

Tina Winston said...

Further, I would add that the nontraditional use of "to effect" in this case is more appropriate to their meaning. In other words, to say "to affect change" implies that change is already happening and these women want to influence it, whereas to say "to effect change" implies that nothing is currently happening and they want to make it happen. At least, that's how I read it.

belleshpgrl said...

This is pretty much the only time the use of effect is correct. At least it was the only example I could find. "To effect change" was pretty much it.