RE: Overuse of "It"

Subject: RE: Overuse of "It"
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: <ekarenski-techwrl -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007 15:26:11 -0600

Karen wrote:

> When you can't tell what "it" references, that is a problem.
> However, my pet peeve is 60-75% of the sentences starting with "it".

Besides unclear antecedents, two other likely problems occur to me:

1) Lots of passive voice. How many of those sentences starting with "it"
use some form of the verb "to be"?

2) An aversion to using second person imperative in procedures or
instructions. This frequently leads to Problem 1, too, with
constructions like:
-- "It should be set to <blah blah>."
-- "It is important to do <blah blah>."

Figure out why they're starting sentences with "it" and you'll be able
to point them to sources discussing the problem and proposing


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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RE: Overuse of "It": From: Karen

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