Passive voice == evil.

Paul W. Frields stickster at
Sun Dec 23 20:11:42 UTC 2007

I have looked over a wide variety of random insertions in some of our
docs and see a lot of passive voice being used.  Please try to use
active voice in docs instead of passive voice wherever possible.  The
folloiwng is an example of the difference between active and passive

PASSIVE (incorrect):  In Fedora 8, a new tool called "FooBar" has been
introduced to help users create foobars.
ACTIVE (correct):  Fedora 8 includes a new tool called "FooBar" that
helps users create foobars.

Generally, passive voice includes unnecessary forms of the verb "to be,"
such as "has been," "is," or "was."  Passive voice is unnecessarily
difficult for translators in some locales to address.

Here is one way to test for unnecessary passive voice.  If the sentence
includes a form of the verb "to be," does it:

(A) describe an *attribute* of the sentence's subject, or
(B) describe something that happened?

If the answer is (B), the sentence probably uses passive voice and
should be reworded.

Today's English composition tip is brought to you by the letter "M" and
the number 4. :-)

Paul W. Frields, RHCE                
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
           Fedora Project: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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