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The active voice is overrated

O
ops. I guess those who disagree would make that "People overrate the active voice."

See what I mean? Sometimes the object of a sentence is more important than the subject. Sometimes the subject is so obvious as to be utterly uninteresting. If I want to report that the Powerball numbers will be drawn tonight, what exactly would be the point of assigning that action to someone? "A lottery official will draw the Powerball numbers tonight"? "Herbert J. Melton, 42, will draw the Powerball numbers tonight"?

Now, don't get me wrong. I said "overrated," not "always inferior." Most of the time, "use the active voice" is good advice. Check with some other writing coach for examples of the myriad ways passive voice can make a writer sound silly. Frankly, this isn't something I get excited about. I'm a word buff whose favorite subjects lie elsewhere, just as there must be classical-music aficionados who don't share others' enthusiasm for a particular composer, whether it be Beethoven or Bach or Galileo or Copernicus. (I don't know much about classical music.)


Now what?

Move on to MONIKER LEWINSKY

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