Re: active vs. passive voice

Subject: Re: active vs. passive voice
From: "Edgar D' Souza" <edgar -dot- b -dot- dsouza -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Michelle Vina-Baltsas" <Michelle_Vina-Baltsas -at- datascope -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 23:27:35 +0530

On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 8:21 PM, Michelle Vina-Baltsas
<Michelle_Vina-Baltsas -at- datascope -dot- com> wrote:
> I've read many threads on this listserv related to the use of "appears"
> vs. "displays" or "is displayed". During a meeting yesterday, with my
> fellow tech writers, we had a heated discussion about whether we should
> use "is displayed" or "displays" when writing a result (For example,
> "Select the XYZ button. The EXY dialog box is displayed.") One writer
> insisted that the use of "is displayed" should not be used because it is
> in the passive voice. To be honest, my head was spinning so quickly that I
> decided to refrain from offering my opinion. I did tell them I'd
> investigate though.
> Is the use of "is displayed" passive voice?

Yes. We have a rule of thumb at our shop, however, that instructions
should be imperative and in active voice, and in general, the results
of those actions should be in passive voice. Thus, we put out stuff
Click the XYZ... button. The Rusticate XYZ dialog is displayed.


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active vs. passive voice: From: Michelle Vina-Baltsas

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