ClearTips: Edit yourself

Cut unnecessary phrases and clauses

All subordinate clauses should be scrutinized to see whether they contribute to the thought. If not, they should be cut.

And they have put frowns on the faces of the poor, who have long benefited from the federal safety net.
CHANGE TO
And they have put frowns on the faces of the poor.

The problem, which remarkably few writers are aware of, is that of failing to set off a nonrestrictive clause by punctuation—whether by commas, dashes, or parentheses.

CHANGE TO
The problem is that of failing to set off a nonrestrictive clause by punctuation.

The same fate should befall the fat in a sentence.

The process of industrialization has served to help raise the GNP of many of the world's countries.
CHANGE TO
Industrialization has boosted the GNP of many countries.

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