Monday, 16 June 2014

That Pesky Pair: Effect and Affect

Recently, I was quite chastened when a request letter for school leave for my son was inadvertently "corrected" by the Headmaster! Much to my embarrassment, when I received an electronic copy of the letter back as part of the approval process, I saw that my incorrect use of practice (over practise) was circled. It was just second-nature of the former teacher to mark the error, I think; I don't believe he ever intended me to see it.

Or maybe he did! Perhaps he's something of a zealot like Lynne Truss, who wrote the hysterically funny, 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves'. And I'm something of zealot myself...or at least, I was; perhaps that's the reason it bothered me so muchand still does!I've slipped. 

So, I'm renewing my vigilance. Taking a quick account of the every day English challenges that can slip us up. "Effect" and "affect" came instantly to mind. If you've ever been caught out by this pesky pair, you might like to take the quick quiz below as a refresher.Are you brave enough to share your results?

I'm also interested to hear any experiences you may have had, or any memory tips/checks for dealing with English spelling and grammar challenges. Feel free to comment below. The answers, together with my own quick 'rule of thumb', can be found at

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