I work with some wonderful copy editors. Yet I want to encourage them to stop doing what I did at the start of this sentence. I can accept "yet" as an alternative for "however," or "nevertheless" when it follows a comma. What bugs me is when they edit my copy so that "yet" leads off a new sentence that contradicts the sentence before it.

Except sometimes it seems ok. I'm puzzled and looking for enlightenment.
To start with, it's not like my raw copy is priceless prose. Here's my original lead that provoked this post:
"Selecting high-precision 6-degrees-of freedom rate and acceleration sensors generally involves painful cost/performance tradeoffs and elaborate implementation and calibration processes. Not only does Analog Devices' ADIS16355 inertial measurement unit (IMU) combines three axes of angular rate sensing and three axes of acceleration sensing in a device with 50-times more accuracy than other off-the-shelf inertial sensors, but the devices come pre-calibrated. One version comes pre-calibrated for -40 to +85(degree symbol)C, the other is calibrated for room temperature."
Agreed, there needs to be a transition between the first two sentences. And the "Not only" that does start the second sentence carries a lot of run-on baggage. That's why we have copy editors, God bless them.
Here's the copy editor's version:
"Selecting high-precision rate and acceleration sensors with six degrees of freedom generally involves painful cost/performance tradeoffs and eleaborate implementation and calibration processes. Yet Analog DevicesÂ’ ADIS16355 inertial measurement unit (IMU) combines three axes of acceleration sensing with 50 times more accuracy than other off-the-shelf inertial sensors. And it comes pre-calibrated."

Ignore the loss of half the gizmo's functionality in sentence 2. That was probably an accidental deletion, and I can put it back. Ignore the copulative conjunction. (What's needed there is a paragraph break and a "Moreover," but I can generally live with copulative conjunctions at the beginning of sentences.)
It's that "Yet" that irks. It's two syllables shorter than "However." It's punchier. Yet (unlike its use in this sentence), it sounds clunky.
Can anybody explain to me why I think that in a way that'll make sense to the copy editor?
Don
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I work with some wonderful copy editors. Yet I want to encourage them to stop doing what I did at ... anybody explain to me why I think that in a way that'll make sense to the copy editor? Don

I did not like your first line. "The selection of .." would imo sound more professional than 'selecting", which is far too casual. I would also replace "painful"with "painstaking". (I know something about cost/ performance tradeoffs, as a simulation expert!) Since the calibration issue is a major selling point, I would put it in a separate sentence. The "not only" or "yet" sounds too self-congratulatory and are perhaps overkill for a really good product which should sell by itself. Dropping them entirely could be a good idea. You want to say instead that what is presented is new or revolutionary or unique or at least highly competitive. You could trumpet the user-friendliness of the self-calibration in the last sentence.
snip
To start with, it's not like my raw copy is priceless prose. Here's my original lead that provoked this post: ... combines three axes of acceleration sensing with 50 times more accuracy than other off-the-shelf inertial sensors. And it comes pre-calibrated."

snip
It's that "Yet" that irks. It's two syllables shorter than "However." It's punchier. Yet (unlike its use in this sentence), it sounds clunky. Can anybody explain to me why I think that in a way that'll make sense to the copy editor?

Simplifying it for purposes of analysis, I read the two versions like this:
"High precision generally involves painful cost/performance tradeoffs and elaborate calibration. Not only does the device have
50 times more accuracy than other sensors, but the devices comepre-calibrated."
"High precision generally involves painful cost/performance tradeoffs and elaborate calibration. Yet the device has 50 times more accuracy than other sensors. And it comes pre-calibrated."

I don't know the grammatical argument, but I feel that your "Not only...but" construction works better than the CE's "Yet...and" version.
"Yet" almost presents the combination of features as a conundrum: "A and B are difficult to achieve, yet it does A. And it does B." It almost seems to want "Just how do we do this?" as the next sentence.
"However" doesn't have the same sense to me of laying out a dilemma, but still doesn't promote the advantages as well as the "not only...but" construction.

Cheers, Harvey
CanEng and BrEng, indiscriminately mixed
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I work with some wonderful copy editors. Yet I want ... a way that'll make sense to the copy editor? Don

I did not like your first line. "The selection of .." would imo sound more professional than 'selecting", which is far too casual.

Very wrong. Nounification is very bad style in English. Non-native writers and inexperienced native writers nounify a lot under the mistaken impression that it is more "formal" or, as you put it, more "professional". In fact, it's just plain ugly and makes the writing more difficult to read. Use verb forms as much as possible.

I edit scientific papers written by non-English speakers for a living, and a good part of my work is changing noun constructions to verbal constructions, usually dozens of times in the same paper.

"Selecting" is far better than "the selection of". That you would think otherwise suggests that you are not a native English speaker.

I would
also replace "painful"with "painstaking". (I know something about cost/ performance tradeoffs, as a simulation expert!)

No. The two words have different meanings, and only "painful" is correct here. "Painstaking" would be wrong. Look them up in the dictionary.
Since the calibration
issue is a major selling point, I would put it in a separate sentence.

This is a good point. Shorter sentences are usually better, especially if the content is important.
The "not only" or "yet" sounds too self-congratulatory and
are perhaps overkill for a really good product which should sell by itself. Dropping them entirely could be a good ... revolutionary or unique or at least highly competitive. You could trumpet the user-friendliness of the self-calibration in the last sentence.

I, too, would drop "yet" altogether. I don't see a need for a transition marker here. It has nothing to do with it sounding "too self-congratulatory", though. With other instances of "yet" at the beginning of the sentence, I would probably replace it with "however" or "nevertheless". "Yet" in this position irks me, too.

Dominic Bojarski
before entering into the "yet/however" conundrum, i'd need to know what the relationship between these sentences is meant to be... do you mean that "even though selecting...involves (a couple of negatives), the ADIS16355 does things which justify this "painful" selecting?

all else, except bannerjee's problem with the verbal, depends on this...
"Selecting high-precision 6-degrees-of freedom rate and acceleration sensors generally involves painful cost/performance tradeoffs and elaborate implementation and calibration processes. Not ... of acceleration sensing in a device with 50-times more accuracy than other off-the-shelf inertial sensors, but the devices come pre-calibrated.

michael
. . . it's not like my raw copy is priceless prose. . . . "Selecting high-precision 6-degrees-of freedom rate ... the devices come pre-calibrated. One version comes pre-calibrated for -40 to +85(degree symbol)C, the other is calibrated for room temperature."

Perhaps the original thought was backwards, and thus the prose it suggested. How about:
Analog Devices' ADIS16355 inertial measurement unit is 50 times more accurate than any other on the market. It offers three axes of angular rate sensing and three axes of acceleration, and is pre-calibrated for temperature (in two models, one for room temperature, the other for the range -40 too +85 deg. C. Only this IMU avoids the cost/performance tradeoffs and calibration processes of competitors' instruments.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
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I edit scientific papers written by non-English speakers for a living, and a good part of my work is changing ... far better than "the selection of". That you would think otherwise suggests that you are not a native English speaker.

Mr. Banerjee is actually from Saturn. He is the love child of Sun Ra and the goddess Bhuvaneshwari. Unfortuntely, while still a chiled, he had a severe accident that damaged his brain beyond all hope of repair. His parents disowned him, so he moved to Australia where he tries to discredit all of Earth's scientists, living or dead, while trying to invent a perpetual motion machine.
I work with some wonderful copy editors. Yet I want to encourage them to stop doing what I did at ... Can anybody explain to me why I think that in a way that'll make sense to the copy editor?

I think "yet" implies that the original proposition somehow remains in force, although modified by
the following material. But in fact it is being
completely refuted by what follows. So I would
use "but" instead of "yet".
I edit scientific papers written by non-English speakers for a ... otherwise suggests that you are not a native English speaker.

Mr. Banerjee is actually from Saturn. He is the love child of Sun Ra and the goddess Bhuvaneshwari. Unfortuntely, while ... where he tries to discredit all of Earth's scientists, living or dead, while trying to invent a perpetual motion machine.

Are you the president of his fan club, or his agent?

Dominic Bojarski
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