Re: Re. Passive challenge [sic]

Subject: Re: Re. Passive challenge [sic]
From: "Brad Barnes (T)" <blb -at- FORMTEK -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 19:02:13 -0500

Valid examples of passive voice:

Martha J. Feebelvester is survived by her husband and three daughters.

Here, Martha J. Feebelvester is the emphasis, not her survivors.

Another example:

It was decided to close the plant and lay-off 325 employees.

Here, the actor--the party responsible for deciding to close the plant and lay-off employees--doesn't want to be known or emphasized. (aha...another passive sentence)

Brad Barnes
Technical Writer

> >
> "DLE", s/he of no sig line (!) posed the following
> challenge: to reword the phrase "the leaves on the sidewalk
> were kicked and scattered by passing feet" in active voice.

> Not noting any "irony alert", emoticons or other clues
> <grin>, I'd take this challenge seriously and reword this
> as "passing feet kicked and scattered the leaves on the
> sidewalk". Then again, I'd lose the "kicked and" as
> redundant: it's implicit, since the feet can only scatter
> the leaves by kicking them. Of course, if the act of
> kicking is important, then so is the actor; "DLE kicked and
> scattered the leaves..."

> Let's start the clock ticking again: can anyone provide a
> _good_ example of necessary passive voice?

> --Geoff Hart @8^{)}
> geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

> Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
> reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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