Some days editing is a challenge

July 8, 2011

Try this paragraph I had in a document the other day:

Therefore, the unlooped trunkline alternative will be reviewed only as a sensitivity comparing unlooped versus looped trunkline configuration on a mid case value, recovery and campaign timing basis only.

I couldn’t make any sense of it, even after reading it several times and putting in punctuation… I sent it back to the author with a comment about splitting into two sentences, explaining or expanding the terms, removing a second ‘only’, adding/removing words, and just rewording the darned thing!


  1. I would have a try at splitting the sentence into two, then give both versions back to the author. They usually appreciate the help. A few really DON’T want that sort of help.

  2. All I can say is OMG!!! It’s **astounding** how much terrible writing there is out there!

    I’ve seen equally horrendous (or worse) sentences or paragraphs in more than 25 yrs. of tech. writing and editing.

    In these cases, I go back and have a very diplomatic, in-person discussion with the writer to try to figure out what he/she was trying to say.

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