Re: passive voice

Subject: Re: passive voice
From: David Fisher <DAF -dot- DSKPO27B -at- DSKBGW1 -dot- ITG -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 13:42:23 CST

IMHO, use of passive voice is rarely defensable. In writing today, it passive
construction is all to commonly used to hide the identity of those who act
(active voice). Some examples include former President Reagan's statements
about Iran-Contra "Mistakes were made." and AT&T's "The company was downsized."
Although the "meeting is held" sentence doesn't intend to hide responsibility,
it is a bad habit in writing.

Perhaps the sentence could read "The development manager holds a meeting every

At least we know who is holding what. That, after all, is the purpose of active

Just my $.02.

David Fisher
dfisher2 -at- ti -dot- com

Thank you, Janet, for your excellent defense of the passive as a legitimate
tool for saying exactly what we mean!

And please--
"Everyone comes to a meeting on Wednesday"

is NOT the equivalent of
"A meeting is held every Wednesday."

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