Grammar check: Is the government shutdown ‘affecting’ or ‘effecting’ things?

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

As the government shutdown continues to drag on, there seems to be no shortage of story ideas for ways that the shutdown is causing problems with everyday life — but here’s a grammar check for you for the good old “affect” vs. “effect” debate.

  • Before we go any farther, let’s make it clear: People, places and things are “affected” by the government shutdown, so this screenshot from an on-set graphic from WPMT in Pennsylvania is grammatically incorrect.
  • Example sentences: “The government shutdown is affecting federal workers.” “The partial government shutdown is affecting paychecks.” “The government shutdown is affecting national parks.”
  • That said, people. places and things can feel the “effects” of the government shutdown.
  • Example sentences: “Government workers are feeling the effects of the government shutdown.” “The government shutdown’s effects can be felt by federal employees unable to pay rent.” “National parks are feeling the effects of the shutdown.”