Re: Passive Voice? in Scientific Writing: Explanation

Subject: Re: Passive Voice? in Scientific Writing: Explanation
From: "Elaine R. Firestone" <elaine -at- CALVAL -dot- GSFC -dot- NASA -dot- GOV>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 14:09:06 -0500

>>>I deal with mostly scientists here at NASA who almost always write in
>passive voice. As much as possible, I change it ("it has been
>noted" gets changed to "it was noted", etc.)<<

>Uh, sorry to say but that's still passive voice, meaning you have no
>defined subject performing the action. "Someone" had to have "noted" it
>to be in the active voice.

Hi all! I'm back again explaining myself since it's obvious I gave a bad
example with the "noted" bit and active voice (caffeine and chocolate
deficient). Lots of this stuff can't be put in active voice without
extensive rewrites that I don't have the time to do so I change what I can
to make it more readable and leave the rest alone. Plus, read this example:

"For data reduction, the desired quantity is the response of the band
after the out-of-band has been removed."

You aren't talking about a person, you're talking about a process. I left
it alone since there aren't any people involved and, as I said, it's a
process. How would y'all handle a sentence like the above?



Elaine R. Firestone
elaine -at- calval -dot- gsfc -dot- nasa -dot- gov
elaine -at- seawifs -dot- gsfc -dot- nasa -dot- gov

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