It’s been a while since his last appearance, but regular Keys
Disease readers can’t get enough of The Answer Dude’s particular
blend of wit, sarcasm, and cynicism all rolled up around a sweet
center filling. Okay, there’s no sweet center filling. The sarcasm
and cynicism, however, more than make up for it. Without further
ado, please welcome The Answer Dude!

AD: Great to be back.
KD: Do you mean that?

AD: Not really. But since I’m paid by the answer, feel free to
ask all the stupid and inconsequential questions you want.
KD: All-righty, then! Was a local daily newspaper grammatically
incorrect when they printed this recent headline: “Boat traffic
effects dolphin habits?”

AD: Yes.
KD: Would you care to explain?

AD: There are a lot of people, professional writers,
proofreaders, and editors included, who just don’t get the
difference between affect and effect. Boat traffic might affect
dolphin habits, or boat traffic could have an effect on dolphin
habits. To take this one step further, boat traffic could effect a
change in dolphin habits. Does that clear things up?
KD: I’m still confused…

AD: It’s really pretty simple. Affect is usually a verb, while
effect is usually a noun. One can affect something, or one can have
an effect on something.
KD: But you used effect as a verb in your third example!

AD: You’ll notice I used the word “usually” in my explanation. If
you’re confused, simply stick to the usual rules when you’re writing
a headline for a newspaper.
KD: Any other linguistic pet peeves you’d like to share with us

AD: Sure. How about the difference between “loose” and “lose?”
KD: Even I know that one! Loose is the opposite of tight, and lose
is when you don’t win or can’t find something.

AD: You’d be surprised at how many people make the mistake of
writing sentences like this: “I hated to loose my temper.” That’s
one of the most common mistakes in the written English language;
right up there with actually believing there’s such a word as “alot.”
I had never seen the opposite usage happen, at least not until
today. I was reading an online article in which the writer explained
the problem he was having with a “lose connection.” Maybe I really
have seen it all, now.
KD: Have you seen the bus stop advertisement at the west end of
Marathon for

AD: Who-can-I-sue? Dot com?!? For real???
KD” Yep. It’s a one-stop-shop for wannabe plaintiffs and defendants.
Makes you proud of what our justice system has evolved into. Anyway,
any final thoughts?

AD: There’s a great birthday card out there that helps the common
person solve a common language problem that you just exemplified. On
the cover are two girls talking. One says, “Where’s your birthday
party at?” The other says, “Never end a sentence with a
preposition.” Open the card, and it reads, “Where’s your birthday
party at, b—-h?”

* * * * * * *

The new John Bartus & Storm Watch CD will be released tonight (June
26) at Dockside Lounge in Marathon, and tomorrow (June 27) at Hog
Heaven in Islamorada. We’re going to have those two CD release
parties, complete with the band, live music, prizes and
giveaways—and a whole lot of fun! I hope to see you at one (or
both!) of the events!

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