My last column began a two-part series on clearer sentences based on Joseph M. Williams' vade mecum STYLE Toward Clarity and Grace. Part 1 introduced and developed Williams' first two principles of clear writing: subjects=characters and verbs=their actions. In clear sentences, the subjects and verbs overlay the characters and actions.

There are many types of characters. The most important and clearest are direct agents, the obvious source of the action: We initiated this project

Sometimes the subjects name a means by which an unstated character performs an action: Studies of fault traps show that … which really means:...

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