Re: active vs. passive voice

Subject: Re: active vs. passive voice
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: Michelle Vina-Baltsas <Michelle_Vina-Baltsas -at- datascope -dot- com>, Paul Kretschmer <Paul -dot- Kretschmer -at- YARDI -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 10:06:16 -0500 (CDT)

Hi, Michelle. Yes, "is displayed" is passive, but it is perfectly acceptable in this context. The emphasis in this kind of procedural explanation *should* be on the action, not on the doer of the action.

People who insist that the passive voice is never acceptable are going overboard.

As my youthful hero Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

(And, as Paul K. points out, "appears" works just as well -- unless you have an anti-"appears" obssessive in your doc group. I have worked with one or two, and the discussion can get ugly!)



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