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Would there be any sort of confusion or loss of meaning if I just take out "in order?"

For example:

Robert pretended to be sad in order to gain sympathy from Ratignolle.

Robert pretended to be sad to gain sympathy from Ratignolle.
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Hi,

Would there be any sort of confusion or loss of meaning if I just take out "in order?"

For example:

Robert pretended to be sad in order to gain sympathy from Ratignolle.

Robert pretended to be sad to gain sympathy from Ratignolle.

No, perhaps just a slightly reduced emphasis.

However, consider the negative form.

Robert pretended to be happy in order not to gain sympathy from Ratignolle.

Here, you need to keep 'in order . . . to'.

Best wishes, Clive
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Hi,

According to John A. Brogan, the author of Clear Technical Writing, "in order is almost always deadwood at the beginning of a sentence. Elsewhere, it usually is - but not always. In the following sentence, for example, in order prevents an ambiguous reading:

This value was made a variable in order to find the optimum value.

If in order is taken out, the sentence can be understood as suggesting not only "for the purpose of finding" but also that the variable value finds the optimum value."

Best Regards,
Hoa Thai
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Comments  
Wow, the balance between clarity and brevity must be hard to find at times.

Thanks so much for the advice!
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As an editor, I routinely edit "...in order to..." to "...to..." without affecting the sentence meaning. I consider this an ingrained phrase by writers that goes against the philosophy of eliminating fillers and unnecessary words/phrases. Let's write concisely.