Re: passive voice is discussed actively

Subject: Re: passive voice is discussed actively
From: Gwen Barnes <gwen -dot- barnes -at- MUSTANG -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 00:13:46 GMT

To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU

-> >I *detest* passive voice. The words "should" and "may" denote
-> >things that are optional. "Install pumps so that...." becomes
-> >"Pumps shall be installed so that...."

-> So why not "You shall install pumps so that . . ."?

Because the person reading the manual may not be the one installing the
pump. It could be the person who performs safety checks, or who uses the
pump, or someone with a responsibility to inspect and verify safe
operation and installation of pumps.

I would make a case for using a passive sentence directed at nobody in
particular in this instance, so that everyone reading the manual is
implicitly responsible for the correct installation of the pump.

Cheers, @DISCLAIMER@
Gwen gwen -dot- barnes -at- mustang -dot- com
http://www.mustang.com ftp://ftp.mustang.com
MSI * Connecting the world 805-873-2500


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