RE: active vs. passive

Subject: RE: active vs. passive
From: "David Artman" <david -at- davidartman -dot- com>
To: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:17:27 -0700

My French is rusty, but doesn't your quoted sentence translate to "If
the directory does not exist, it will create itself automatically"?

If that is an accurate translations, then it is almost certainly poor
style, because file structures do not create themselves.
Applications--often but not always running in desktop environment
software like Windows and GNOME--trigger disk operation that the
operating system (kernel and/or hardware abstraction layer) executes to
modify a logical disk's directory structure, add files to it, overwrite
files on it, or remove files from it.

Or am I being too literal with my merely-college-level memory of
highly-formal French? :^)

David

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: active vs. passive
From: "Peter Neilson" <[1]neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
Date: Tue, August 08, 2017 10:27 am
To: [2]techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
In French and Spanish, and probably Italian and other languages, one
might
use the reflexive: "Si le rA(c)pertoire n'existe pas, il se crA(c)e
automatiquement". N'est-ce pas?
On Tue, 08 Aug 2017 09:15:17 -0400, Slager Timothy J
<[3]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

1. mailto:neilson -at- windstream -dot- net
2. mailto:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
3. mailto:Timothy -dot- Slager -at- dematic -dot- com
4. http://techwhirl.com/
5. mailto:david -at- davidartman -dot- com
6. mailto:techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
7. mailto:admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com
8. http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups
9. http://techwhirl.com/
10. http://techwr-l.com/archives
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