Lessons from Twitter’s #APStyleChat

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Affect, as a verb, means to influence: The game will affect the standings. Effect, as a verb, means to cause: He will effect many changes in the company. Or: To effect change, you must affect people.

Use “include” to introduce a series when the items that follow are only part of the total: The zoo includes lions and tigers. Use “comprise” when the full list of individual elements is given: The zoo comprises 100 types of animals, including lions and tigers.

Faze” means to embarrass or disturb: The snub did not faze her. “Phase” denotes an aspect or stage: They will phase in a new system.

Disinterested means impartial, which is usually the better word to convey the thought. Uninterested means that someone lacks interest.

To allude to something is to speak of it without specifically mentioning it. To refer is to mention it directly. And to elude means to evade.

Compose means to create or put together. It is commonly used in both the active and passive voices. She composed a song. The United States is composed of 50 states. The zoo is composed of many animals.

To rifle is to plunder or steal. To riffle is to leaf rapidly through a book or pile of papers.

Adverse means unfavorable: He predicted adverse weather. Averse means reluctant, opposed: She is averse to change.

Farther” refers to physical distance: He walked farther into the woods. “Further” refers to an extension of time or degree: She will look further into the mystery.

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