Posted by: episystechpubs | August 27, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Passive Voice – Fixing Evasion #2


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Wait, no! It’s not Johnny, it’s your next installment of “5 passive-voice evasions and how to fix them,” by Josh Bernoff. As I mentioned yesterday, Mr. Bernoff uses examples of passive voice from an article about the city of Boston bidding for the 2024 Olympics.

#2 Who is writing this?

Authors use the passive voice to avoid “I” or “we.” This occurs most often in the most controversial statements.

· [I]t is assumed that local revenue sources would have been spent in Massachusetts regardless of the Olympics. [KC – Who is doing the assuming? Avoiding “I” and “we” makes this sound very suspicious.]

· The operations expenditures for the Boston 2024 Olympics are estimated to create or support nearly 34,000 direct jobs during the year of the Olympics. [KC – Again, you may ask, who is performing the action? Who is doing the estimating? Don’t hide behind the passive! Embrace your opinion and make a statement!]

How to fix: Use “I” or “we.”

· We assume that regardless of the Olympics, local sponsors would spend in Massachusetts.

· We estimate that a Boston Olympics would create or support 34,000 jobs in 2024.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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