Word Abuse: PASSIVES


We should be thankful that the rule(s!) concerning the passive voice is very simple.    But let us, first, examine the difference between the active voice and the passive, by reading the same sentence, first, in the active voice and, secondly, in the passive.

ACTIVE: I went to the park.
PASSIVE: The park was gone to by me.

It should be obvious that the first sentence sounds much, much, much, much, much better.   On the basis of this evidence, and this evidence alone (along with much more evidence available elsewhere), the rule governing passives should be very easy to remember:

Never use the passive!
Or to put it another way, “The passive should never be used!” (mirth).

This was the rule that George Orwell followed throughout his writing career, and if anyone knew how to defeat Daleks, it was he. [1]

 
 

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