Re: Help! passive/active (long)

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
>thought of:
> 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.
Dust appears.
(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?????

-Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com

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