A colleague was drafting a memo to send out company-wide today and forwarded it to me for review. The copy was mostly good, although he referenced several “servers that will be effected by ongoing work” or somesuch. I replied that, while the memo itself was good, I had a grammatical bone to pick: the servers would be “affected” by the work, not “effected”. He replied that he remained convinced that “e” was the correct word, which sent me on a wild Googling spree.
I have always seen usage in-line with that which I outlined above (this quiz seems to bear out my conclusion – answers are here, for anyone that’s interested), and so I decided to try to run down the definitive answer. Unfortunately, Merriam-Webster is next-to-no help, but, in addition to the quiz mentioned above, I also found a few tips and tricks for remembering the difference and I appeal to no less authority than the Oxford English Dictionary’s site to prove me correct.
Am I off my rocker to be bothered by stuff like this? Should I have objected? After all, I was just trying to keep my colleague from embarrassing himself in a company-wide fashion.
And yes, I know, this makes me a huge, semantic, pedantic, annoying geek. Unfortunately, the intended audience of the email is filled with huge, semantic, pedantic, annoying, geeky engineers. I’m just trying to help a brother out!