Posted by: episystechpubs | September 1, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Passive Voice and the Blame Game

It’s the third day we’re looking at the passive voice from the article “5 passive-voice evasions and how to fix them,” by Josh Bernoff. One of the top reasons we see passive voice used is to avoid blame. Today’s evasive item is:

#3: Who did this stuff?

If you don’t know or want to hide who is responsible for some action, passive will do that for you. But your reader would rather know who did things.

· [A]fter the Olympics, the Olympic Stadium site and Olympic Boulevard could be developed into seven million square feet of mixed-use residential and commercial space.

· In both the case of Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, . . . profits were used to help fund nonprofit organizations.

How to fix: Solve the whodunit mystery. Tell us who is supposed to do this stuff:

· Boston needs to find a real-estate developer who will develop the stadium sites.

· The Los Angeles and Salt Lake City Olympic Committees gave their profits to non-profit organizations.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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