It’s true! Forget what your schoolteachers taught you, effect is a verb too. Granted, it is most commonly used as a noun, so I can–ahem, sort of–understand why teachers led us astray. However, our adult minds can handle the truth: effect is sometimes used as a verb to mean to bring about or to cause something to happen, as in the common phrase effect change.
Take a moment and let that sink in. Your subconscious was likely already aware of this fact, so hopefully it won’t take long for your heart rate to normalize.
Now, I’m really going to blow your mind. Affect can be used as a noun! This little tidbit might very well send your subconscious screaming, as it is a rare usage, and when it is used, it is most often seen in reference to psychology to mean, loosely, a manifestation of emotion.
Okay, so let’s look at an example of each. Since word usage is all about relationships, we’ll use a relationship scenario.
Casey loved Rachel with all his might and decided he didn’t want to live without her—ever. His planned marriage proposal was meant to effect [verb] a drastic change to their relationship. Would she say yes? He hoped his sincerity would affect [verb] her decision. He was determined to surprise her. On the big night, his nonchalant attitude and routine actions had the desired effect [noun] on her; Rachel was stunned, as was obvious by her affect [noun].