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Effects
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2013/02/12
4:02am
Raffee
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How do you associate ‘effect’ with possession, that when in plural, it means ‘belongings’?  

2013/02/12
8:25am
Robert
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It occurs to me effects are kind of small things. A house is too big, even a motorcycle.

2013/02/12
9:35am
Arkansas Traveler
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I’ve seen it used in conjunction with “personal”. As in collecting the personal effects of a dead soldiers’ for the soldiers’family. So I agree with the word referring to something small and maybe even an object physically on the person.

2013/02/12
9:35am
Arkansas Traveler
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I’ve seen it used in conjunction with “personal”. As in collecting the personal effects of a dead soldiers’ for the soldiers’family. So I agree with the word referring to something small and maybe even an object physically on the person.

2013/02/12
10:07am
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The OED has:

†6. Something which is attained or acquired by an action. Obs.
1604 Shakespeare Hamlet iii. iii. 54, I am still possest Of those effects for which I did the murther.

7. In pl. Goods, movable property (originally: spec. merchandise). no effects: no funds in the bank (formerly written by bankers on dishonoured cheques) (now rare). to leave no effects : to leave nothing for one’s heirs (now rare). Cf. personal effects n. at personal adj., n., and adv. Special uses.
1665 Earl of Arlington Let. 26 Aug. (1701) I. 19 What success the Effects sent to him have had in the Ports of Ostend.
1697 E. Hatton Merchant’s Mag. (ed. 2) xiv. 229/1 Effects, Merchants Goods or Concerns.
1708 Boston News-let. 8–15 Nov. 4/2 An Act to Enable Creditors to receive their just Debts out of the effects of their absent or Absconding Debtors.
1712 J. Addison Spectator No. 499. ¶2. The Emperor, knowing they could not convey away many of their Effects, granted them their Petition.
1776 A. Mather Char. well Accomplished Ruler Described 15 And are we willing to commit our most valuable effects to the custody of one who is unfaithful, and would squander them away?
1788 F. Grose Classical Dict. Vulgar Tongue (ed. 2) , Algate, a draught on the pump at Algate [sic]; a bad bill of exchange, drawn upon persons who have no effects of the drawer.
1806 Times 23 July 3/1 On the cheque being presented, it was found that the prisoner had no effects there at that time.
1822 Byron Let. 2 Sept. (1979) IX. 202, I greatly doubt if Mr. Shelley has left any effects.
1843 Thackeray Ravenswing v, in Fraser’s Mag. Aug. 189/2 The bankers..declined to cash the captain’s draft..simply writing the words ‘no effects’ on the paper.
1864 Times 7 Nov. 4/1 She was told at the workhouse that her husband had left no effects.
1919 Sandusky (Ohio) Star Jrnl. 15 Mar. 2/2 Liens on furniture and other effects would be wasted legal action, leaders say.
1931 Times 26 June 4/6 Default was made, and a distress warrant was returned marked ‘no effects’.
2006 Western Morning News (Plymouth) (Nexis) 24 June 9 This image is of a country auction where all the household effects of a deceased’s estate are brought outside to the front of the house.

I included both 6 and 7 since the first might help explain the second.

Emmett

2013/02/15
5:43am
Raffee
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Thanks for your answers! But, obviously, I couldn’t clarify my point. It was that when you hear ‘effect’, you think of ‘influence’. So, how is it that when in plural, it means ‘belongings’? How do you get from ‘influence’ to ‘belongings’? How has the word changed?

2013/02/15
9:15am
Robert
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I can imagine a link suggested by 6 , 7 (Emmett’s above), from ‘to do, make’ to ‘items of properties’ -a one that though tenuous at best must have been all there ever was.

2013/02/16
2:57am
Raffee
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Oh, I see now. Thanks!

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