Affect this

The Atlantic has posted an item assessing effect of the death of Senator Lautenberg on various issues near and dear to the Democrats. The item is posted under the heading “How Senator Lautenberg’s death makes the Senate even less functional.” After each of three issues, the Atlantic rates the “Affect of Lautenberg’s death.” The “Affect” of Senator Lautenberg’s death rates from Low to Very High.

Although the effect is slight, the error affects me negatively. Usage errors of this kind are epidemic and really inexcusable among those for whom the English language is the stock-in-trade. As with so many such errors, it is one that is also easily be avoided by the use of a dictionary or the memorization of a basic rule of thumb. See, e.g., “You can affect an effect.”