Today in an article I wrote, I got the classic example of a ‘reverse Before & After.’

Often plain language writers will use these types of examples: the original sentence or paragraph alongside the simpler, clearer alternative.

Well today, I got back an edit from someone I’d interviewed for an article about a technical medical subject. His edit – or After version – looked more like what I would use as a Before. Read for yourself:

My version:

The study launched in September intends to better understand these syndromes to help paediatricians identify them – and set patients on the path to proper treatment sooner.

His version:

The study launched in September intends to gather new data about the presentation of these disorders while raising awareness in the medical community.  It is hoped that earlier identification of patients will also facilitate initiation of effective treatment.

This is one of those situations where a writer needs to tactfully defend their original choice, while ensuring the reviewer understands the reason for the simpler language. Wish me luck!

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