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  1. it is vital to grasp that implementing this strategy should not be put, at any cost, ahead of other priorities.

The sentence above is meant to imply that there might be other priorities that demand more attention than implementing this strategy, but it seems, on and off, to me that the present form of wording will make the reader come away with just about an opposite impression possibly because of misusing commas. Am I right? If so, where should at any cost be placed? I'd also be grateful the original sentence is contrasted with:

  1. it is vital to grasp that implementing this strategy should not be put ahead of other priorities at any cost.

and

  1. it is vital to grasp that implementing this strategy should not be, at any cost, put ahead of other priorities.
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    What do you see as the difference between redesigning and totally rewriting? Also, why not just say, "Implementing this strategy is of lowest priority."
    – Jim
    Nov 14, 2014 at 7:40
  • as far as I can see the difference: redesigning: using the same words in some other order; totally rewriting: keeping the original meaning, but using alternative words. "Implementing this strategy is of lowest/lower priority" is okay, surely, but doesn't imply that there are certain circumstances under which lower priority should be placed on this strategy.
    – Itsme
    Nov 14, 2014 at 7:54

2 Answers 2

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The problem is not so much with the order, but that at any cost doesn't make sense at all. The phrase at any cost should be used to describe something important that you must do. Here, you are saying that implementing this strategy is a low-priority item, which is quite the opposite!

I would write

It is vital to grasp that implementing this strategy should not be put ahead of other priorities, no matter what.

(The comma is optional.)

Perhaps better, and slightly more formal:

It is vital to grasp that implementing this strategy should not be put ahead of other priorities for any reason.

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Sentences that contain clauses about the importance of something can usually be rewritten to make that "something" the most important thing in the sentence.

Other initiatives are far more important than the implementation of this strategy; it is vital that we not lose sight of that fact.

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