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Subject:Passive Voice-My Last Word From:"Dennis Hays/The Burden Lake Group, Ltd." <dlhays -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 26 Jan 1996 17:32:36 -0500
This has gone on long enough for me. Any voice is appropriate sometimes.
Personally, I don't have a problem using passive when necessary, but I
dislike the trend in source copy and some manuals using PV predominately.
IMO, it's a lazy method of getting the doc out the door.
Whoa... I'm not trying to start a flame war, here. But I've been doing
technical writing for over 20 years and tend to read other manuals quite a
bit. The trend I see is parallel construction. And overuse of any voice and
parallel construction will take the reader out of the message.
If you want to write to finish a project and do "whatever it takes" to get
it in on time and under budget, you're certainly entitled to your methods.
However, when I contract for a project, or hire other tech whirlers to work
on assignment, I want to make certain they can write.
Mary went to the store. She rode her bicycle. She went with her sister.
(This gets tiring and before you realize, you're in the beat, not in the
words. Even active voice can be too much if not used correctly).
I don't want to beat a dead horse (think of the karma!) but, overall, it's
more important to write something people will read and use than worry which
is better... AV or PV.
That's my last word on this subject. Now, how about the overuse of implement
and/or utilize and very unique (can there possibly be grades of unique?),
open trench (what other kind is there?), etc.
-------------> Dennis Hays, The Burden Lake Group, Ltd.
-------------> Voice: 518/477-6388 Fax: 518/477-5006
-------------> E-Mail: dlhays -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com
------------->"God doesn't want you to be certain.
That's why He gave you a brain."