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Hi,

Should we split the infinitive here? Sounds clearer to my ear. I assume either works, so let us have a vote.

a. Place a towel under your work station not to wet the floor.

b. Place a towel under your work station to not wet the floor.

Thanks.
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a. Place a towel under your work station not to wet the floor.

Are you tabulating?

How about "Try to not wet your pants." ??

I think you've managed to find a stinker.

A native speaker would probably avoid the problem and say, ". . . . in order not to wet the floor."

(Without the negative, the "in order" would be superfluous: Use a sponge to moisten the stamp. )

Emotion: smile - A.
Hi,

I read a in a set of instructions for a washing machine, so, yes, tabulating. Emotion: smile

I just found it quite awkward and had to read it a few times over. I was basically wondering if people would avoid the construction (a) or would use one of the options I provided. Thanks.
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Clearly, B is better than A, but both are ugly - albeit correct.

I have great sympathy for the people who write these instructions. Sometimes one of them will post an inquiry. They're often given terrible third- or fourth-generation translations to translate yet again. If they're not familiar with the technology, they try to do a literal translation of a translation which is wrong to begin with.
AvangiClearly, B is better than A, but both are ugly - albeit correct.

Indeed. The washing machine, I assume, was made in China, so the manual, I'm sure, would be riddled with awkward phrasing.
I have another question which came about when writing my post just above this one.

The manual would be riddled with similar phrasing.

The manual would be riddled with like phrasing.

To my knowledge, both of the above are correct. Now, if I add a second adjective to each, do they still both work?

The manual would be riddled with similar, awkward phrasing.

The manual would be riddled like, awkward phrasing.

Or should/can the latter be 'like-awkward phrasing'?
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The manual would be riddled with similar, awkward phrasing.
I'd switch "similar" to an adverb and drop the comma.

The manual would be riddled with like, awkward phrasing. I don't think this one can be fixed.
It belongs in the round file. (Of course, it's correct.)