Re: Use of the First Person

Subject: Re: Use of the First Person
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 09:37:03 -0600

No, it doesn't. What it does is take the focus off the perpetrator.
There are times when that is a good thing, but (when used for bad news)
at best it changes the reader's attitude from directed anger to general
malaise. And when the reader has already given a name to his pain, it
can make things much worse.

When writing an unpleasant message, a detectable weasly tone is an
extremely bad thing, and the passive voice sounds weasly, at least to
some audiences.

mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
Home: nax -at- execpc -dot- com

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Annalee Foster [SMTP:scripta -at- gj -dot- net]
>Jane Bergen wrote:
>> FWIW, I think we (there I go) technical writers are often too paranoid
>> about using the passive. Most grammar/composition texts allow it when
>> you want to diminish the impact of the actor.
>I'll go along with that. Sometimes you can really complicate an issue
>by trying to force an active voice. The passive voice also helps to
>soften what the reader may view as an unpleasant message. Depending on
>the audience and the purpose of the document, the passive voice can be
>our friend...

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