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    #1

    Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    Dear all,

    I am looking for the right word (see title) but I can't decide which one fits best.

    Let's say we talk about tooth paste and its ability to prevent caries. Would we then say that tooth paste has a "anti-caries efficacy" or an "anti-caries effectiveness" or efficiency, activity or effectuality? Which one fits best?

    In reality I don't want to talk about tooth paste, but it is basically the same problem.

    I hope you can help me, maybe I should express it in a entirely different way.

    Thanks in advance,
    Isny

  1. The Maltese Falcon's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    I personally would say, It is effective to prevent cavities. ;)

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    #3

    Re: Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    It is effective in fighting tooth decay.

    "Efficacy" is not a common word. I have never heard anyone use "effectuality." If you want a noun, use "effectiveness."

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    #4

    Re: Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    Thanks!

    This is a good possibility, however it would require rearranging the whole sentence, which is why I would like to stick with the "anti-..." structure ;)

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    #5

    Re: Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    Thanks to you, too.

    Maybe I should consider rearranging the sentence after all.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    As a writer, I can assure you that when you struggle to find the right word to fill in the blank, revising the sentence is often the best answer.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    Thank you all again for helping so quickly!

    The problem is solved, as far as I am concerned :)

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    #8

    Re: Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    This reminds me of advertising for Crest toothpaste in the 1960s. Many people from that era still remember it: ''Crest has been shown to be an effective decay-preventive dentifrice that can be of significant value when used in a conscientiously applied program of oral hygiene and regular professional care.''

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    #9

    Re: Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency, activity, effectuality...?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Efficacy" is not a common word. I have never heard anyone use "effectuality." If you want a noun, use "effectiveness."
    'Efficacy' and 'efficacious' are common words in medicine to describe treatments. I've rarely heard it elsewhere. I've also never heard "effectual/effectuality" that I can recall.

    There was once a pop song that went something like this:

    We'll drink-a drink a drink
    To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink,
    Saviour of the human race.
    She invented medicinal compounds,
    Most efficacious in every way.

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