Passive voice

Subject: Passive voice
From: Steve Owens <uso01%eagle -at- UNIDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 1994 13:58:33 +0700

> John Oriel quoted a source as saying:
> A superbly well educated gentleman from London once told me that
> students of his generation in the U. K. were taught to write in the
> passive voice because the resulting text would translate more easily
> into the Romance languages. U. S. writers, he told me, have less
> reason to expect that their work will ever be translated, and are
> therefore encouraged to write in the more concise active voice.

> I think we have just been insulted. Why would U.S. writers have less
> reason to expect their work will be translated? What have the Brits
> got that we U.S. writers supposedly don't.

I wasn't insulted when I read the above. Keep in mind that this is in
reference to a different generation, and to a different geopolitical
market. International markets weren't as popular here, several
decades ago, and U.S. culture was rather preoccupied with itself.

The UK, on the other hand, besides having little outposts in different
countries all over the world (United KINGDOM) was in close proximity
to Europe, and could be expected to do business with an eye to selling
it over in Europe.

Steven J. Owens
uso01 -at- unidata -dot- com

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