RE: Wrong? Poor style? OK?

Subject: RE: Wrong? Poor style? OK?
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "David Hailey" <david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu>, "techwr-l mailinglist" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 15:21:05 -0600

David Hailey wrote:

> Passive voice is not necessarily a problem. It depends on what you
> to emphasize. If the subject is unimportant, insisting on emphasizing
> it can lead to difficult reading and ambiguity.

True, BUT...

We already had a compound passive/passive sentence, which at least some
of us felt made for difficult reading and ambiguity.

You suggest only one example in which emphasizing the object of the
action may make sense ("Only the test results may be saved on the C
drive."), but it bears no relationship to the original statement (which
dealt with _how_, not _where_ you save).

Absent any context, one can't tell, but I suspect your example is in
fact either ambiguous or entirely incorrect. It seems to deny permission
to write any other data to the C drive, which isn't likely. Nor is the
topic of testing the place for such a blanket ban, if true.

Maybe you meant "The test results may be saved only on the C drive"? If
that statement is true, then I agree that using the passive voice to put
the focus on the object of the action (the test results) makes sense in
that context.

But it's an entirely different context. :-)


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


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Re: Wrong? Poor style? OK?: From: Nancy Allison
RE: Wrong? Poor style? OK?: From: Combs, Richard
RE: Wrong? Poor style? OK?: From: David Hailey

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