The Inside Write Stuff: Emphasis and drama — a critical word or phrase at the start of a sentence

(1) Lenders concern themselves the most with the quality, quantity and liquidity of the borrower’s collateral.

(2) The borrower’s collateral – lenders concern themselves the most with its quality, quantity and liquidity.

In English, the subject-verb-object (SVO) pattern is so ingrained that any departure from it catches the reader’s eye. Example (1) makes its point conventionally: lenders (S), concern (V), with collateral (O). The unusual start of (2) – “Collateral” – commands attention to that key word.

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