General Writing and Grammar Help/Though & affect

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Question
Dear Ted:

The following extract is taken from an Independent article titled "My story: Living with OCD."

Visiting a GP is the first step in a long line that can help sufferers on the road to controlling their compulsions. Speaking to someone is often a daunting experience especially for a new sufferer who canít understand their own behaviour but seeing or contacting a medical professional, though NHS Direct for example, allows for understanding of thoughts and behaviours. Speaking to an expert provided me with a calming affect for the panic and anxiety OCD symptoms provide and practical steps in dealing with the condition.

My questions are these:

1) What does "though" mean in "though NHS Direct for example"? Did the writer mean to say, "THROUGH....."?

2) Why ".....with a calming AFFECT" AND NOT ".....with a calming EFFECT"?

Just a reflection: is it me or do you also find that newspapers, these days, are full of spelling mistakes? This doesn't help the English learner.

Answer
Dear Paolo:

The following extract is taken from an Independent article titled "My story:
Living with OCD."

Visiting a GP is the first step in a long line that can help sufferers on the
road to controlling their compulsions. Speaking to someone is often a daunting
experience especially for a new sufferer who canít understand their***** own
behaviour but seeing or contacting a medical professional, though***** NHS Direct for
example, allows for understanding of thoughts and behaviours. Speaking to an
expert provided me with a calming affect***** for the panic and anxiety OCD symptoms
provide and practical steps in dealing with the condition.

My questions are these:

1) What does "though" mean in "though NHS Direct for example"? Did the writer
mean to say, "THROUGH....."?

*** You are right.  It should be "through."

2) Why ".....with a calming AFFECT" AND NOT ".....with a calming EFFECT"?

*** The writer used the verb "affect" instead of the noun "effect."

***Also, in the third line, he should have used the singular pronoun "his."  The antecedent is "sufferer," and that word is singular.  THEIR is wrong.

Just a reflection: is it me or do you also find that newspapers, these days, are
full of spelling mistakes? This doesn't help the English learner.

** I find it very annoying.  I believe that spelling is no longer taught or, at least, emphasized.  After all, the entire world has "spell check."  I recently read an article about how "spell check" is contributing to the degrading of our language.

During many news programs there, the television networks run a "banner" across the bottom of the screen.  The banner has extra news items.  The grammar and punctuation errors I see in those banners are incredible!

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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