On Twitter, @that_angela pointed out a Calgary Herald story about wildfires that uses the prepositional phrase in affect. Here is the sentence:
James Finstad with Alberta Health Services said its health advisory is still in affect.
Now, before we all start guffawing into our sleeves, let's acknowledge that we understand perfectly well how this happened. Folks routinely mix up 'affect' and 'effect,' which are most commonly used as a verb and a noun, respectively. But once you add the little preposition 'in,' only one of the two words can follow.
- The prepositional phrase in affect does not exist.
- The prepositional phrase in effect can be used as either an adjective or an adverb. In this example, it is an adjective meaning 'operational' or 'in force.'
James Finstad with Alberta Health Services said its health advisory is still in effect.
Note: In a perfect world, James Finstad would be identified by his title, which should be set off by commas. James Finstad, a spokesperson for Alberta Health Services, said its health advisory is still in effect.