RE: Bad sentence #2

Subject: RE: Bad sentence #2
From: Lynne Wright <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- tritech -dot- com>
To: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 May 2015 19:20:16 +0000

As an editor, I personally wouldn't bother coming up with grammatical justifications for why it's a bad sentence.

The real problem is that the writer either doesn't understand what they are trying to explain; and/or they don't know the correct terminology to use (what the hedge are "USB communications"? What do they mean by "instrument"? "Device?").... Its hard to parse the sentence when I can't figure out what they're talking about.

I'd just say that its too wordy and convoluted and needs to be re-written so that its simple, clear, and in active voice.

And then provide the solution, something like:

Install the latest USB drivers for v 4.1 firmware to enable external devices, such as a wireless mouse.



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tritech -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=tritech -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Nancy Allison
Sent: May-29-15 3:07 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Bad sentence #2

"In order to use USB communications to control the instrument running
v. 4.1 firmware, the latest USB drivers must be installed."
No dangling participle. Just . . . what?
"In order to use USB communications to control the instrument running
v. 4.1 firmware" is an introductory phrase providing a reason. It's not
a clause because there is no subject.
Friends, give me your best grammatical analysis. Thirty years ago, when
I was teaching English as a Second Language, I could have whipped that
sentence apart and explained its construction with gimlet-eyed
precision. Now, quite literally, words fail!
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Bad sentence #2: From: Nancy Allison

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