Re: Passive Voice? in Scientific Writing: Explanation

Subject: Re: Passive Voice? in Scientific Writing: Explanation
From: Williams Diane <Williams_Diane -at- DOTE -dot- OSD -dot- MIL>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 14:25:22 -0500

"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?<<

Well, I don't know what band and out-of-band mean, but in this case
passive voice is appropriate. You can't eliminate it all the time, and
in cases like the above, it's perfectly appropriate.

BTW, doctors and surgeons always write their medical reports in about
90% passive voice, and when they do use active voice they usually write
"we," as if it was a team decision and not the actions of one doctor
alone. Weird. But that's how it's done in that *industry*.

Diane Williams
Technical Editor/Writer
OSD, DOT&E
DWilliams -at- dote -dot- osd -dot- mil


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