From The Jolly Contrarian
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Towards more picturesque speech

The original TS-808 Tube Screamer - everything you need for that fat, creamy, crying tone.

George Orwell on plain English | SEC guidance on plain English Plain English Anatomy Noun | Verb | Adjective | Adverb | Preposition | Conjunction | Latin | Germany | Flannel | Legal triplicate | Nominalisation | Murder your darlings

Index — Click ᐅ to expand:

Get in touch
Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Requests? Sign up for our newsletter? Questions? We’d love to hear from you.
BREAKING: Get the new weekly newsletter here Old editions here

An effect is, always, a noun. One may speak of the rainbow effect, special effects or, if one is a fan of the electric guitar, an effects pedal like Ibanez’s Tube Screamer[1] or Jim Dunlop’s Cry-Baby Wah-Wah[2].

Put those two puppies together: now that’s an “effect”. This is to say: the only place for “effects” is in front of a guitar amp, and even then you should stomp on the damn things.

One must not use effect as a verb, even as a space-filler, however clamorously your inner articled clerk implores you to. “Effect” is the weakest verb in the English language. Whatever you are intending to “effect” is almost certain to be a nominalisation of a stronger, better verb; one better suited to the task you have in mind.

Why say “effect the conversion of shares” when you mean “convert the shares”?
Why say “effect the delivey of a notice” when you mean “deliver a notice”?
Why say “effect the butchery of a perfectly good sentence” when you mean -

Well, you get the point.

See also