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The usage note ("Don't confuse with affect") is somewhat vague without a better explanation of how these words, which are almost synonymous, actually differ. "To influence", "to implement"? It's difficult to see how these words would not be confused. - [anon]

  • How will this affect the new plan?
  • How will this effect the new plan?
The first means "How will it change the new plan?" The second means "How will it cause what the new plan describes to actually happen?" These seem not to be nearly synonymous at all, as should be clear from the definitions given. -dmh June 29, 2005 16:32 (UTC)
Is Wiktionary a prescriptivist or descriptivist dictionary? It is certainly prescriptivist to say that a word should be used to in a particular way. While I am aware that effect and affect are different, and I use them "properly," I am also aware that they are often used as synonyms. Because of this, I think the definition to effect for affect should probably be listed, though I am aware that this would probably be controversial which is why for now I'm merely proposing it here. The usage note should probably remain as well. Theshibboleth 23:45, 27 November 2005 (UTC)
To be less prescriptivist, why don't we just say that the words are commonly confused, then state the formal usages, rather than instructing our readers "don't confuse..."
My impression of Wiktionary is that it tends to be descriptivist in general, but at the same time giving the pedantic grammarian's prescriptivist view. Isn't this the best of both worlds? Dbfirs 15:15, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Personal effects[edit]

Can 'effect' mean a belonging or article on one's person, outside of this phrase? Dfrauzel 08:00, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but only when plural, and there is an appropriate entry at effects. I think the singular usage is just a humorous mis-use (though we should record it if it is widespread?) Dbfirs 19:54, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


"The best way to effect change is to work with existing stakeholders."

Horrid example riddled with jargon. 12:24, 13 August 2008 (UTC)


Effect (eh-fekt) and affect (uh-fekt) are NOT homophones. 14:23, 28 October 2010 (UTC)