RE: US vs. UK pronoun/voice usage?

Subject: RE: US vs. UK pronoun/voice usage?
From: "Brad" <kiwi -at- best -dot- com>
To: <Janet_Swisher -at- trilogy -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 23:06:03 -0800

> I've recently been reading a large quantity of source material from an SME
> who happens to be British. (My company is located in Austin, Texas, USA.)
> One thing I've noticed in his text is that he routinely uses the pronoun
> "one", combined with passive voice, as in the following example:

Yes, these are cultural preferences that you will often see.

Americans often prefer to use the more direct and concise imperative voice.
Some cultures consider directness in the imperative 2nd voice to be arrogant
and rude.

On the other hand, some continental European cultures consider it to be rude
to address another person in the 3rd person, so it's not simply a Brit
versus Yank cultural difference.

Passive voice is a sign of wordiness and a compromise in comprehension. But
those cultures that consider the command voice to be too direct (too
friendly = arrogance) prefer the passive 3rd voice.


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