I do not know the history of the words affect and effect. I know their use in English, with the words being verbs and nouns respectively, but as a point of curiosity and enthusiasm, I wonder if there is a need to have separate words at all? Is there ever a case where there is a sentence that would be ambiguous if the wrong word was used? For example, consider the following sentences:
I am happy for you too.
I am happy for you two.
(I believe a comma might be needed in the first sentence, but bear with me)
These sentences have different meanings. The first states that the speaker is happy for the listen as well. The second states that the reader is happy for the listener and another individual. It is important, then for English to have different words for these two meanings. Considering affect and effect, is there ever a case where we could have an ambiguous sentence like this? Or could we instead drop either affect or effect and use the remaining word exclusively?
As an aside: I understand that English is a language birthed from many other languages, and as a result contains many duplicates of words. For example (this is my understanding), cow and beef were at one point essentially the same, but the words are rooted from the languages that were used by those who raised the cattle (Germanic, cow) and those who consumed the meat (French, beef).