Re: active vs. passive
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? :^)
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: active vs. passive
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
Date: Tue, August 08, 2017 10:27 am
To: 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 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.
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.
Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
RE: active vs. passive: From: David Artman
Visit TechWhirl's Other Sites