Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Passive Voice

I am aware, of course, that yesterday's post contained a substantial amount of passive voice.

I was aware of it as I wrote, and I was reminded of it this morning as I graded a 10-page paper on the genocide in Rwanda.

When the subject is genocide, you really want to avoid passive voice.

Hutus killed Tutsis. Someone hacked his neighbor to death with a machete. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people died.
People committed crimes and should face justice.

Not, crimes were committed and criminals should be held to account.

In a little squib on work avoidance, hatred of pompom making, and the abdication of responsibility for vacuuming a Koigu neck cozy into a high powered shop vac, passive voice is to be expected, and not just because I'm the teacher and say so.

More knitting occurred last night, because for the second night in a row we had unexpected visitors. It's rude to grade papers in front of guests, but it's not rude to knit thank heavens, and if it is, too bad. The Cascade Fixation Mardi Gras sock is nearing the finish line for the fourth time. At least the first one is; hopefully sock number 2 will go more quickly.

p.s.--if you post on any listservs or bulletin boards, this is pretty funny:

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