Re: active vs. passive

Subject: Re: active vs. passive
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2017 10:27:19 -0400

In French and Spanish, and probably Italian and other languages, one might use the reflexive: "Si le rÃpertoire n'existe pas, il se crÃe automatiquement". N'est-ce pas?

On Tue, 08 Aug 2017 09:15:17 -0400, Slager Timothy J <Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com> wrote:

Don't use passive voice is a good rule, but when using it makes the sentence more succinct without sacrificing clarity, use it.

I wouldn't write "the directory will be created." But even worse is "the system will create the directory." "System" as subject adds no meaning. If I'm not mistaken the original was trying not to use future tense, another rule of thumb. In this case, it's one I would follow: "If the specified output directory does not exist, it is created automatically."

I'm not sure why, but in software documentation, this sort of future tense is everywhere, and it can be confusing. "Will be" when? "Is" = immediately. Maybe "is" has more smack than "will be" too; I don't know. But here it adds clarity.
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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
Re: active vs. passive: From: Lauren
Re: active vs. passive: From: Karin Matchett
RE: active vs. passive: From: Slager Timothy J

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