Re: Passive activity, voice-wise

Subject: Re: Passive activity, voice-wise
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 11:44:22 -0800

>Passive voice has its place. I maintain that a good writer can use passive
>voice and make it work clearly, just as a bad writer can inadvertently make
>active voice as clear as mud.

As far as I can tell, nobody on this list is stopping you from writing any
way you please. And nobody has advocated removing passive voice from the

However, I think that those of you who are trying to turn this into an
argument ought to instead try to hear what others are saying. Of course you
can find examples for which passive voice is OK, possibly even preferable.
That doesn't change the basic flaws that have given it such a bad name.

With apologies to the President for stealing his line, I believe that use of
the passive voice should be safe, legal, and rare. :-) ...RM

Richard Mateosian President, Berkeley STC
Freelance Technical Writer srm -at- c2 -dot- org Review Editor, IEEE Micro

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