Re: Passive voice

Subject: Re: Passive voice
From: Kent Newton <KentN -at- METRIX-INC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 10:24:00 PST

I think people have an aversion to passive voice (or object-oriented) for
more reasons than its name. I heartily agree it has its place, but too
many writers don't seem to know when it's appropriate to use. A name
change may help writers decide when to use the structure though......

Kent Newton
Senior Technical Writer
Metrix, Inc.
kentn -at- metrix-inc -dot- com

----------
From: TECHWR-L[SMTP:TECHWR-L -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu]
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 1996 7:30 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Passive voice

It amazes me how the passive voice has become the black sheep of the
English
language. The prospect of using it has become as unthinkable as the
prospect
of an unmarried character in an early English novel losing her "virtue"
("Pamela -- Virtue Rewarded" by Samuel Richardson (?) comes to mind).

In fact, there is a time to use the passive voice (when you want to
emphasize
the object of an action), just as there is a time to use the active voice
(when
you want to emphasize the doer of an action).

I really think the bad rap that the passive voice gets is due to the
negative
connotation of its name. So -- we're writers. Let's write a new name.
One
suggestion: Instead of a sentence being written in the "active voice" or
the
"passive voice" -- in fact, instead of its being in a "voice" at all -- a
sentence would be either "actor-oriented" or "object-oriented."

Tony Ioven
tioven -at- vpro -dot- com


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