Sunday, October 02, 2011

Geoffrey Pullum's battle against critics of the passive voice

He has been at it for quite sometime now, and here's his latest: Mistakes Are Made (but Using the Passive Isn’t One of Them):

... do the writing tutors of the world really think we should not report that a politician has been shot until we can specify the gunman? Do they honestly think it’s wrong to say that the lights are left on all night in an office building without supplying a list of the individuals who controlled the switches? We really have to get over this superstitious horror about passives. It’s gone beyond a joke.