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People with horribly sloppy reading habits will often misread affectation. For example, I just spent the past few minutes trying to come up with a riff on people who have warm feelings toward other people, which would be affection, not affectation. Despite considerable thought, I couldn’t come up with anything.

It is, therefore, a good thing that I eventually realized that my mind dropped an “at” from the word. This entry is on the word affectation, not affection. Therefore, I’ve got a few words’ worth of grace before I have to figure out what to say about affection. There are other definitions of the word affection, so maybe I’ll use one of those. I hope you can handle the suspense.

Which brings me back to the word that this entry is really about, affectation. If you intentionally adopt, say, an upper-class British accent that is not your natural intonation, that accent is an affectation.

However, an affectation is not just anything that you fake. It’s something you put on to impress other people or another person. So, if you’re trying to mock British upper class twits in a hurtful way, that’s not called an affectation. That’s called a Monty Python skit. (Although Monty Python did at least as much through sight gags as through mocking their speech.)

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