John’s question: “A colleague and I are having a dispute. Is there ever a time when you can use the word ‘effect’ as a verb?”
BizWritingTip response: Normally, effect is a noun meaning “result” or “consequence.”
What effect (result) will the holiday schedule have on staffing?
We need to assess the effects (consequences) of the decision on workload.
However, effect can also be used as a verb meaning “to bring about.”
Example (correct but used infrequently)
The manager effected (brought about) a change in the hiring policy.
When it comes to verbs, most people use affect. Affect means to “influence,” “change,” or “assume.”
The change will not affect (change) his salary.
The decision affects (influences) hiring policy.
She affects (assumes) a disinterested air.
Other examples (correct)
There are a number of holidays that don’t affect (influence) trash collection schedules.
There are a number of holidays that don’t effect (bring about) changes in trash collection schedules.