Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moving Large Sections of Text

I am looking at the business letter we were assigned to edit and having a difficult time drawing the line between editing and rewriting. I have been trying to make changes by moving and combining sentences and now I am wondering what is the cleanest way to indicate those changes. We have already seen a few examples of how to move phrases, etc. but how, for example, would I best indicate the following change:

Aloha! We just wanted to follow up with you on how are you and if everything is coming along satisfactory with your tub installation job, which we did for you on January 22 of this year.

Aloha! We wanted to follow up on the tub installation job we did for you on January 22 of this year to ensure that everything is coming along satisfactorily.

Aside from some of the more minor edits, what is the cleanest way to move a large chunk of text without rewriting it?


Pat said...

I like what you did here, Samantha. Good job.

Sometimes, if there's room, I will rewrite a passage at the bottom of a page and indicate where it should go. In this case, I realize there is so much wrong with the letter you could run out of space.

Let me work on this in Word and post what might be a solution...

Pat said...

Samantha, I realized I didn't answer your question directly. In some cases, it's impossible to avoid rewriting. Trying to move pieces of text around--and sometimes in between--each other just gets too complicated. Not only will this slow you down but also the person entering your editing. Of course, trying to move text should be considered before rewriting it.

One other thing. Looking at the edited text again, I see that there's a chance for a slight misreading: "we did for ensure that..." You could make "on January 22 of this year" nonrestrictive and put commas or em-dashes around it to avoid the suggestion that the installation was done to ensure something.