Re: Active vs passive voice

Subject: Re: Active vs passive voice
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2013 12:48:45 -0400

On Wed, 04 Sep 2013 11:43:04 -0400, Matt Gras <mattgras -at- comcast -dot- net> wrote:

Anyone have good reasons why a company stylin' itself to be hip and modern would opt for passive rather than active voice in its user manuals?

Good possibility that the original manuals were either written by people trained in "scientific" writing or by people who learned English as taught in some far-off Former British Colony.

The former standard requires, "500 ml of water were added to 136.04 g of 18M H2SO4," instead of, "I stupidly poured 500 ml of water into 136.04 g of 18M H2SO4."

The latter standard occasionally teaches that better writing is polite and obscure. "Your report of 17th is at hand. An impression of lack of caution and understanding is conveyed to us, owing to the damage that was caused in 500 ml of water having been added to 136.04 g of 18M H2SO4." So much less direct than, "You blinking idiot! You stupidly added water to the acid."

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Active vs passive voice: From: Matt Gras

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