Frequently used words and phrases

Affect vs. effect
“Affect” can be both a noun and a verb.

How will this new legislation affect health policy? [verb meaning “to produce an effect upon someone or something,” “to act on and cause a change in someone or something”]

The patients exhibited perfectly normal reactions and affects. [noun, pronounced AF-fect, meaning “a set of observable manifestations of an experienced emotion, e.g., facial expressions, gestures, postures, vocal intonations”]

“Effect” can also be a noun and a verb.

He is using his voice to effect change in social policy. [verb meaning “to cause to come into being, create”]

Climate change is having a dramatic effect on global weather patterns. [noun meaning “something that inevitably follows an antecedent (such as a cause or agent)”]

African American
Two words, no hyphen

Capitalize Black when referring to a culture, ethnicity, or community of people. Note that Black is to be used only as a modifier (adjective), never as a noun. From AP: “AP style capitalizes Black in a racial, ethnic, or cultural sense, conveying an essential and shared sense of history, identity, and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa.”

Lower case when referring to places in the United States:

The commonwealth of Massachusetts proposed new draft rules that would limit six common types of PFASs to 20 parts per trillion in public drinking water supplies.

All caps.

Decision maker
Two words. Note that when used as a compound adjective modifying a noun, a hyphen is used:

It turned out to be a lengthy decision-making process.

Use lower case and Arabic numbers for variants or stages of disease.

type 2 diabetes

stage 4 colon cancer

Health care
Two words

Capitalize Indigenous when referring to original inhabitants of a place.

One word, no hyphen (see Prefixes)

One word

One word

Includes a hyphen

One word, capital S for Session