Passive Voice

Subject: Passive Voice
From: "Guess, Lynn" <lguess -at- snorkelusa -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 08:19:33 -0600

Christi Carew wrote:

Is it common for man pages to be in passive voice?

I think that there is a very fundamental difference between the use of
passive and active voice that can cut very deep in a court of law and in
turn have a direct impact on the amount of liability money paid. Beyond that
and perhaps more importantly, active voice may serve to prevent property
damage, death, or serious injury. By one definition, the term should is
"used to express expectation or probability....he should be here soon". The
fact that he should be here soon has a completely different meaning than the
fact that he will be here in four minutes. If someone is dying, soon......45
minutes from now......may be too late and require that other action be

If the daemon must be stopped to determine the reason for lost control, then
it is prudent to say, "Stop the daemon to determine the reason for lost

Lynn Guess, Technical Writer
OmniQuip Parts Worldwide
Servicing products of: Snorkel International

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