0

The following statement had me confused:

"To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election"

To me this is an active form of affect, that I haven't seen before. Normally I see "affect" used like:
"we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected the election" or "we have not seen fraud on a scale that could affect the election"

Interestingly the original quote uses "effected" instead:

"to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election"

AP News: Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud

So what is right and wrong here?

2
  • 1
    Won't a dictionary solve this problem? Merriam-Webster: "effect 1: to cause to come into being." That's the definition being used here. The problem is that for a large number of English dialects, these are homonyms and people don't distinguish between them (which is not really a disaster, since it's usually easy to tell the meaning from context). Dec 3 '20 at 14:21
  • This has nothing to do with active or passive. Those two mean different things. Each is correct for saying what it says. The dictionary will tell you that to effect means to bring about or to realize, not to cause the way to affect means.
    – tchrist
    Dec 3 '20 at 14:50

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.