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Compare:

"He modified the sentence for clarity."

vs

"He modified the sentence to make it clear."

Any difference here?

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What’s your theory? –  tchrist Feb 22 '13 at 7:33
    
my theory is that, after many years I learnt that most of the American people does not know the difference between which and that. Some of them were PhDs, teachers. I wondered if there is a little distinction between those too. –  Emmet B Feb 22 '13 at 7:41
    
Which vs. that have been covered before. At any rate, if nobody knows the difference between two words, then there is no difference between them. Meaning follows usage. If everyone uses "which" to mean "oven", then that's exactly what it means. –  RegDwigнt Feb 22 '13 at 15:57
    
@KristinaLopez Actually I don't care about English. My two american friends proofread a paper I wrote. It was an engineering paper. And an American professor highly criticized how as a non-native speaker I did not know the difference . Then I asked my friends, and they did not know either. I said 'Americans' to point out that its their native language. Its because of irregularity of English. In my native language a 8 year old kid knows perfect grammar, because its regular. As I said, I dont care. I know 4 languages, and English is definitely the 3rd most irregular one. –  Emmet B Feb 22 '13 at 16:21
    
@EmmetB - Irregular is right - that was unjust of your professor. Learning any other language than your birth language is daunting and admirable. :-) –  Kristina Lopez Feb 22 '13 at 16:24
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closed as not constructive by tchrist, Kris, Kristina Lopez, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, MετάEd Feb 22 '13 at 18:50

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

"To make it clear" is clearer. "For clarity" is more formal, and best (and most commonly) used with the verb "edited" rather than "modified."

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Evidence? It does seem true that "edited for clarity" is most common, but all four possibilities sound fine to me. –  Peter Shor Feb 22 '13 at 12:43
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