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Meaning of "to this effect"

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ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
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Meaning of "to this effect" #1 (permalink) Thu Nov 02, 2006 14:58 pm   Meaning of "to this effect"

What does "to this effect" mean in "Language is thought by many anthropologists to have been created by women, and there are many myths to this effect in different cultures"?
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To this effect #2 (permalink) Thu Nov 02, 2006 15:03 pm   To this effect

How interesting! :lol:

'To this effect' means 'in this sense'.
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In this sense? #3 (permalink) Fri Nov 03, 2006 14:38 pm   In this sense?

Thanks for your reply. But I'm not quite sure what "in this sense" means when used here. Basically, is it saying that there are many stories that confirm those anthropologists' opinion? (Or perhaps "myth" means a different thing?)
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Meaning of "to this effect" #4 (permalink) Fri Nov 03, 2006 15:01 pm   Meaning of "to this effect"


In your sentence 'to this effect' means that the same 'thought' can be found expressed in many myths in different cultures 'along similar lines' 'following the same idea' 'expressing the same belief'.

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To this effect #5 (permalink) Wed Oct 29, 2008 17:55 pm   To this effect

OK, this is an old thread, and maybe nobody will read it, but I have a completely different take on it.

"To this effect" means, I believe, "to bring this about". I reach this conclusion from my definition of "effect" to mean "bring about" or "bring into existence" as in "effect change". Although the construction is inverted, "to this effect" means "to this bring about" or more easily understood, "to bring this about". A better example sentence is something like "We will send a letter to this effect".

The original question used the example sentence "Language is thought by many anthropologists to have been created by women, and there are many myths to this effect in different cultures". In my opinion this sentence is not proper usage of the phrase "to this effect" at all. Unless, of course, the myths had the effect of bringing about the thought that language was created by women. Unless the myth CREATED the thought, the usage is improper. It could be argued that the writer MEANT that the myths perpetuated the thought that women created language, thus bringing about, bringing into existence, or bringing to reality the thought in some people that women created language.

You see, this is completely different from what was said before, so I just had to bring it up, even if nobody ever reads it. I actually really like the phrase "to this effect" when it is fully understood to mean "to this bring about". Brilliant, really. Maybe Yoda originated it.


Robert Wichert
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To this effect #6 (permalink) Fri Feb 13, 2009 15:39 pm   To this effect

The word you're looking for is 'affect'
Affect is the verb, ultimately meaning 'to have an effect on', effect being the noun meaning the result of the affecting force.

When sub zero temperatures affect water, the effect is the solidification (the change from water to ice)

"to this effect" is completely literal. Think (on a path...) to this effect.

eg. I'm trying procure a loan for a house but my credit history is not long enough to be approved, I know you work high up in the bank and I would be abundantly appreciative if there is anything to this effect which may be done to aid in my success.
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To this effect #7 (permalink) Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:53 am   To this effect

Robert, while your argument is admirable, this use of "effect" is simply idiom. "To this effect" is often used to mean "with this tenor". As to how well established such idiom is, I cannot say.
Your argument against the idiomatic usage of "to this effect" is not unconvincing. From now on, I will think twice before using it that way!
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