Re: active vs. passive

Subject: Re: active vs. passive
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 22:32:14 -0700

I was taught in a technical writing course many years ago to avoid "to be" in technical writing. Now that I avoid it, I cringe when I see it. "To be" is promissory, predictive, and passive. It is not "passive voice" it passive or a passive sense, like timid. "To be" is not in the moment and it asks the reader to wait for some future event or to reflect on some other option. Technical writing should address the matter at hand, so for that, "to be" should be avoided. Proposal writing should be assertive and "to be" is timid.

For the example here, "the directory will be created," I would say the "the system will create the directory," to avoid a passive sense that is not necessarily a passive voice.


On 8/7/2017 3:11 PM, Robert Lauriston wrote:

Future tense is sometimes appropriate. "If the specified output
directory does not exist, it will be created automatically."

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 2:58 PM, Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net> wrote:
It is usually good to avoid future tense when documenting the capabilities
of a product. ...

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: active vs. passive: From: Bernd Hutschenreuther
Re: active vs. passive: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: active vs. passive: From: Peter Neilson
Re: active vs. passive: From: Robert Lauriston

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