Preservation Grammar: Affect v. Effect

Previously: Historic v. Historical

The grammar topic for today: affect v. effect.

“Affect” and “effect” are commonly misused words, whether in relation to the preservation field or not.

While the nuances of these two words can seem complex and there are instances in which both can be verbs and nouns, it is generally straightforward when applying definitions to preservation documents. Still, remembering and applying the appropriate word is important. This is because of their use in the National Historic Preservation Act and the Section 106 regulations.

“Affect” is a verb. As in, will not affect historic integrity.

“Effect” is a noun. As in, adverse effects.