Recasting Sentences

While editing, it is not uncommon to come across a sentence that is grammatically incorrect and cannot be submitted as is or corrected by simply adding punctuation.  This can occur if a sentence is horribly mangled either by the speech engine or dictator error.  Other times, you may come across a sentence that is just poorly structured.  An example would be a sentence that begins with a number.  In either case, recasting a sentence may be required. 

When recasting, remember not to over edit!  Practice making the changes as resourcefully as possible.  For instance, as an alternative to deleting  half of a  sentence and retyping, only move the necessary words.  Instead of deleting and retyping those words, use your editing shortcuts to quickly copy or cut words.  Once you have the words copied, use your navigation shortcuts to quickly navigate to the appropriate location in the sentence.

While recasting sentences is often necessary, be careful not to make unnecessary changes.   There is a thin line between necessity and over editing!

 Recasting a sentence might be necessary if:

  • Your sentence begins with a number.  In this instance spell out the number or recast the sentence.
  • If a sentence ends with a preposition
  • Run on sentences.

Example:

Original Sentence:

15 years ago today I performed a tonsillectomy on Mary.

My Steps:

Step 1: Click CTRL+SHIFT+Right Arrow 4 times to select the words “15 years ago today”

Step 2: Click CTRL+X to cut the selected words.

Step 3: Click END to move to the end of the line. 

Step 4: Click Left Arrow to move your cursor before the period.

Step 5: CTRL+V to past  “15 years ago today” at the end of your sentence. 

My Recasted Sentence:

I performed a tonsillectomy on Mary 15 years ago today.

 For  practice recasting sentences, visit the Editing Fun page, Exercise 16.  Remember to use a combination of all of the keyboard shortcuts with correcting the sentences. 

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