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In addition to being the present participle of the verb affect, affecting can serve as a word on its own that is only related to affect in the vaguest of senses. Before moving on to the definition of that word, some of you who aren’t grammar experts might want to know what a present participle is. It’s nice that you’re curious, but this isn’t a grammar lesson. You’ll have to look elsewhere for that.

Besides, I’m not a grammar expert either. I can usually use present participles correctly in sentences, but don’t ask me to explain what they are. That is, don’t ask me about it unless you are looking for a bullshit answer, in which case, ask away.

Right. Back to the sense of the word affecting that isn’t the present participle, whatever that may be, of the verb affect. In this case, affecting is an adjective that means having an effect on emotions.

For example, one might say, “His highly affecting narrative of his long-running failure might have touched at least someone’s heart if anyone had been listening.” But enough about my efforts on this project.

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