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I wrote a sentence

They live in a beneficial way through education.

An editor changed it to

They live in a beneficial manner through education.

What is the difference?

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    Who or what is benefiting from the way they live? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 23 '16 at 23:06
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    I would consider either one rare in American English, and probably written by a non-native writer. I'm not sure what meaning you're trying to get across. By pursuing education, they could live a good life? Constructive life? – mkennedy Feb 24 '16 at 22:08
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    The reason this didn't get a response is that it isn't clear. The OP hasn't been back for a year, so the original intended meaning isn't likely to be clarified. A bounty won't help that. Since the question has been abandoned and the original need overtaken by events, an edit to provide some kind of clear current intention is really needed for any answers to be worthwhile. – fixer1234 Apr 2 '17 at 18:39
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+100

In this context, manner and way are identical in meaning. Dictionary references are not particularly helpful, as the relevant meaning of each is defined in terms of the other. For example, the Oxford dictionary defines way as A method, style, or manner of doing something. Manner is perhaps slightly more formal.

They live in a beneficial way through education.

Whichever is used, the resulting sentence is flawed and meaningless. What the writer probably wants to say is:

Their lives are better because they are educated.

The problem is that beneficial is an adjective that describes the source of the benefit, not the recipient. In this sentence, education is the source of the benefit. We can move education to the front, and then through is not required. The recipient (their lives) needs to be attached using a preposition for or to. The sentence can therefore be rewritten as:

Education is beneficial to/for their lives.

The adverbal construct in a xxx way is much more widely used in Arabic (bi-il-taryqah xxx) than in English, as natural adverbs are few and far between in Arabic: English written by arabic speakers therefore tends to contain this construct even when it's not necessary in English. If the writer really wanted to stick to an adverbal form, then the English adverb well would be a perfect choice:

They live well through education.
They live well because of their education.

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A manner is a way, but a way isn't neessarily a manner. Way is the more general term. A "manner" is more studied than a "way."

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