Re: active vs. passive

Subject: Re: active vs. passive
From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2017 09:18:33 -0700

You're turning guidelines into superstitions.

Overuse of the infinitive form of "be" might a hallmark of bad
writing, but sometimes it's the right choice. "Use bulleted lists,
which are easy to scan and more likely to be read."

Same goes for passive voice. "If the specified output directory does
not exist, it will be created automatically" puts the emphasis on the
directory. The point is that the user does not have to create it
manually beforehand. Nobody cares what creates it.

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 10:32 PM, Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net> wrote:
> 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. ...wr-l.com/archives
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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
Re: active vs. passive: From: Lauren

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