Thursday, January 12, 2012

Passive explained

Lately I've been seeing some increasingly odd statements from editors about the use of passive in writing. Chief among these are that passive is a tense, not a voice, and that every single instance of the verb 'to be', especially when used in past tense, is an example of passive.

So I was delighted to come across writer Pat Wrede's delightful, simple yet intelligent blog post on the subject of passive and the sudden passion for 'de-wasing'. She puts it so much better than I ever could (I can never remember the names of all those past tenses!) and it's well worth popping along for a read.

If we spread the word, we might be able to stop an entire section of the English language being put 'off limits' for the wrong reasons.


Melisse Aires said...

I bookmarked that blog, thanks for highlighting it!

Fiona Glass said...

You're very welcome, Melisse. I found it helpful myself so it made sense to pass it on.