Editors of technical documents often encounter "boilerplate information": text such as warranty notices or transmission regulations or electronic disclaimers. This text, often written by lawyers, is not supposed to be altered, even if it contains poor style, questionable usage, unfortunate transitions, faulty parallelism, or other infelicities. Editors need to use the "clothespin edit" (as though a clothespin were pinching their nostrils shut) on such text, but they still should read every single word, because they might catch something that would be embarrassing if (1) the text were published as is, and (2) some reader actually read the text. In this case, the editor queried a word that seemed very strange in context, and suggested a change (but did not make the change). The lawyers agreed with the suggestion, gratefully, and the boilerplate was changed.
This sample is presented here with the author’s permission.