Re: Sentense construction

Subject: Re: Sentense construction
From: <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: "Hemang Antani" <hemang -dot- phenix -at- gmail -dot- com>,<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 10:01:04 -0500

The first one is indeed what most people would write, but the second one is what an American tech writer would (or ought to) write.

> Which of the following sentence construction would be suitable for American
> readers:
> (1) Listed below are the points discussed during the meeting.
> (2) During the meeting we discussed points listed below.

The choice is partially cultural, but sometimes has a purpose. Longer sentences that use the passive voice make the writer feel more important or more educated, and they tend to hide the meaning. It might in some circumstances be better to write like this:

[1] Owing to the unforseen and unusual occurrences for which it can be seen that the management regretfully cannot bear responsibility, the employee about whom it has been notified to us was in a fraternal relationship to yourself, has been reported today to have been in a abnormal interaction with a Number 37 Stamping Machine in which the shims had been located in a manner other than the recommended configuration and received injuries incommensurate with an ability to sustain vital functions as will have been mentioned in Report 2837B5 from General Hospital Unit 17, attached.

... than like this:

[2] Your brother died in an accident at the factory today.


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