Passive Voice vs. Active Voice

Subject: Passive Voice vs. Active Voice
From: Bill Bledsoe <bill -at- ENVISION -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 13:25:43 -0600


Thought I'd chime in on this with some feedback that one of my Journalism professors gave to me on a particular assignment back in school:

"Communications consumers (The audience) do not have the time nor the desire to find a message. Keep writing in the passive voice, and your message will get lost, and you will lose your audience. Go back and do the assignment over. JQ <his initials>"

Pretty harsh words, but ones I live by now.

If something I author has passive voice in it, or if I am editing a document with passive voice in it, I immediately assume one of the following:

* the author wants to hide their messages
* the author was to lazy to think about what they were producing to re-weave a more "active" piece of text
* the author wasn't given the time to write the document

I'm kinda of harsh on passive voice... just like ol' JQ was.

only my $.02 worth...
Bill Bledsoe
Envision Advanced Technologies Group
St. Louis, MO
bill -at- envision -dot- com or intlidox -at- anet-stl -dot- com

"The Internet is the first thing that
humanity has built that humanity doesn't
understand," Eric Schmidt, CTO Sun 10/18/96

PS: This is not meant to fill my mail box with justifications and personal attacks against my writing style. So please think before you hit the send button. bb

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