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Subject:Re: Use of Passive Voice From:Stuart Selber <sselber -at- MTU -dot- EDU> Date:Tue, 29 Nov 1994 13:15:56 -0500
Using passive constructions, in many cases, is a political decision
because it directs where we attach agency in a sentence. In passive
constructions the words in the subject positions don't initiate action. I
can imagine both useful and not useful occasions for passive
constructions, although I agree that active voice seems preferable for
most end-user docs. We also always see ethical dimensions to our language
choices. I just get worried when we decide on absolute rules (like never use
passives) outside of rhetorical contexts. Just some thoughts.....