Re: passive voice (was RE: Numbering paragraphs

Subject: Re: passive voice (was RE: Numbering paragraphs
From: "Dan Comly" <dcomly -at- bid2win -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2012 09:35:30 -0400

Chris Despopoulos wrote:


When the person writes "An alert in posted", in my experience that
person cannot answer the question "Who or what posts the alert?" This is
usually because the person never bothered to ask the question.


Use of the passive induces pangs of guilt when I use it as Chris
describes - to cover up a gap in the story, a gap that I should have
filled. It stinks. To discerning readers, the active voice inspires
confidence in the content while the passive voice suggests dissembling.

Using the active voice is the easiest way to "Omit needless words" as
Professor Strunk exhorts.

Dan Comly
Technical Writer
BID2WIN Software, Inc. <>

Support: support -at- bid2win -dot- com <mailto:support -at- bid2win -dot- com> or (888)
Sales: sales -at- bid2win -dot- com <mailto:sales -at- bid2win -dot- com> or (800) 336-3808

Writer Tip: You have more time to author content with Doc-To-Help, because your project can be up and running in 3 steps.

See the &#8220;Getting Started with Doc-To-Help&#8221; blog post.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @

Previous by Author: FM x-ref Q
Next by Author: RE: Usage question - "... un-initialized state" or "... anuninitialized state"
Previous by Thread: Re: passive voice (was RE: Numbering paragraphs
Next by Thread: Another bogus personality test

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads