RE: active vs. passive voice

Subject: RE: active vs. passive voice
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 10:49:54 -0600

Ned Bedinger wrote:

> If I set up a display(n) of my wares at the Saturday flea
> market, I can also say (and be generally understood) that my
> wares are displayed(v,i) at the flea market. This usage and
> construction sounds right to my ear, and is just too commonly
> encountered to be a big dumb mistake made with a transitive
> verb. English (the living language) seems to allow it.

Actually, it's _correct_ usage of a transitive verb. In the phrase "my
wares are displayed," the actor is omitted (passive voice) and "my
wares" is the _object_ of the action.

But thanks for playing! ;-)


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


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Re: active vs. passive voice: From: Ned Bedinger

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