TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Help! passive/active (long) From:"Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 30 Jan 1996 11:32:15 -0800
Kirstin Mercer wants to get rid of passive voice, but is unsure how:
>The specific usage is this (occurring in procedures where there
>is a step and then a result below it telling the reader what to
> 1. Click Options.
> o The Options dialog is displayed.
>The issue is with the phrase "is displayed." Here are the options we've
> The Options dialog displays. (displays what?)
> The Options dialog opens. (opens what?)
> The Options dialog appears. (appears out of thin air?)
> <Product Name> displays/opens the Options dialog. (wordy!)
Every time the wind blows, the door opens.
That's a perfectly good sentence, isn't it? Even tho "opens"
is transitive, you understand "itself" and it doesn't bother
you that the word is missing.
When I open the windows, dust appears on the coffee table.
Once again, a perfectly good sentenct, no???
Cutting out the extraneous explanations...
The door opens.
(When you do this) The Options dialog opens.
A list of names appears (on the screen).
Doesn't sound *quite* so bad now, does it?????
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com