As I’ve stated in other posts, I edit academic writing, which is often heavy on the jargon and otherwise poorly written. I take pride in being able to untangle convoluted passages to make them comprehensible to educated lay readers. I’m currently working on a project, though, that includes a chapter even I can’t completely fix. Late last night, as I entered my fifteenth hour of work for the day, I ran up against this:

Benjamin is an exception. He uses the idea of profane illumination through older, dead commodities/ruins of capitalism, recalled through allegorical strategies, which could profoundly disturb the contemporary.

Congratulations, author, I have no fucking clue as to how I might rewrite this, because, I suspect, you aren’t actually saying anything. So I will simply delete it from your chapter. I am herewith insituting a zero-tolerance policy for meaningless jargon: If I can’t figure it out, it gets cut. This is generous, because I can hack my way through some pretty dense verbiage. If it were important, you would have stated it more clearly. (Note that the above excerpt is from a freelance project; the editors at my company would never accept such garbage.)

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