Home : Writing is Design: Shy Away from Timid and Passive Writing

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Writing is Design: Shy Away from Timid and Passive Writing — 6 Comments

  1. One of the classic arguments for the passive voice is that it created objectivity. This used to be painfully true of some scientific writing. However, since the author is always named in such a paper, it is obvious who devised the method, who performed the experiment and who reached the conclusion. The nonsense about the humbleness of the author really became ironic if one knew the author for an arrogant person.

    In making the voice active, the careful copy editor makes the text easier to read and perhaps saves a few pages of text, a win-win situation.

  2. This is good information. In writing novels or books, this is great. However, in the corporate environment, when you write reports, the CYA language is very useful to avoid lawyers. 🙂

  3. “If you’re going to write timidly, do so by design and not by habit.”

    Even for those of us comfortable in our grammar skins, this is good thinking. Sometimes, timidity is the proper tone.

    It’s always a challenge for me to leave in a wordy sentence (but one which belongs) or these kinds of weak writing, but sometimes, as you say, they’re part of the design.

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