Friday, July 2, 2010

Sentence Edit of the Day

Here's a "before" sentence:

A week or so ago, news stories began to crop up, showcasing new recruiting practices that allow employed job candidates through the gates to a job interview, while leaving the non-working job-seekers standing outside the walls.

Here's the "after" sentence:

A week or so ago, we saw some news stories describing a new recruiting practice: employers inviting only employed job candidates to job interviews, while closing the door to non-working job seekers.

The original was muddled, I thought:

The participle "showcasing new recruiting practices" was poorly placedunnecessarily far form the the noun it modified. Also, showcasing seemed like the wrong word for a practice the writer goes on to disparage.

Saying that "practices ... allow" something seemed incorrect. The employers establish practices, so it's really employers who do the allowing.

I thought the "castle gate" metaphor was a stretch when talking about job interviews, and it didn't appear anywhere else in the column.

And I thought that stressing that word employed made the sentence easier to understand.

I think the "after" sentence is better than the original, but it's not perfect. I'm not happy with making we the subject, but this was a quick fixand I like that better than having news stories as the subject.

The writer of this piece is a precise, clear writer who rarely needs a lot of editing; I hope I made the sentence easier to read.

Read "Sorry We Can't Interview You, You're Unemployed."

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