Re: Subtly bad sentence construction

Subject: Re: Subtly bad sentence construction
From: Debra Kahn <kahndebra -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Robart, Kay" <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- texas -dot- gov>
Date: Fri, 29 May 2015 13:21:52 -0600

I'm with you, Nancy. (Lots and lots of sympathy!)
I am knee deep QMS procedures (following the ISO standard), and cringe at
all of the passive voice. Some of it I just can't get around (particularly
since the quality engineering manager thinks of herself as a professional
editor).

The mismatched halves of this sentence could be salvaged (and the passive
voice retained) with something like: The velocity rate cannot be updated by
changing the ratio for the transducer. If need be, you could add "while the
test result is in view mode" at the end. At least in this rewrite, the
single remaining gerund becomes the object of a preposition.

Hope this helps,
Deb K

*Debra Kahn**, MA, PMP, CA-AM*
debra -at- dk-consulting -dot- co *or *kahndebra -at- gmail -dot- com
Business: 970-541-0888
http://dk-consulting.co
Twitter: @dkconsultco

On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 1:02 PM, Robart, Kay <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- texas -dot- gov>
wrote:

> Yes, of course. The "viewing" is changing the ratio. If they insist on
> avoiding "you," you're probably stuck with a passive voice sentence. If
> this is some kind of user guide, generally speaking addressing the user
> directly engages them more.
>
> Kay
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+kay -dot- robart=tea -dot- texas -dot- gov -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kay -dot- robart=tea -dot- texas -dot- gov -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
> Behalf Of Nancy Allison
> Sent: Friday, May 29, 2015 1:59 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Subtly bad sentence construction
>
> I am so deep in engineering culture, this sentence almost slipped by
> me. (I mean, I am used to engineers torturing their sentences however
> they can in order to avoid using "you.")
> "When viewing a test result, changing the ratio for the transducer does
> not update the velocity trace."
> Error: Dangling participle with omitted subject, so that the gerund
> becomes the closest thing to a subject. And no, Mr. or Ms. Changing The
> Ratio does not view test results.
> Do you agree?
> I'm getting so jaded, I had to give myself a push . . .
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References:
Subtly bad sentence construction: From: Nancy Allison
RE: Subtly bad sentence construction: From: Robart, Kay

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