Active/Passive and "displays"

Subject: Active/Passive and "displays"
From: "James M.Lockard" <norton -at- MCS -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 15:29:44 -0600

Techwriters,

David Ibbetson writes, "I'd go further to say it's appropriate when the
doer is irrelevant."

I disagree. I'd agree with the fact that it's acceptable when the doer is
not relevant, but to say it's appropriate is too much. The fact that the
passive voice masks the "doer" means that, if you want to avoid stating who
or what, then the passive voice is appropriate. I would always prefer the
active voice unless there's a real reason for using the passive voice. The
active voice is a cleaner, more direct method of communication. Over use of
the noun-heavy passive voice is sloppy writing.

James Lockard
norton -at- mcs -dot- net

"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant."
-- Horton the Elephant


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