I may well have a passive-aggressive personality? I can be passive-aggressive anyway, but that isn’t the point of this blog post. Nope. The title is meant to be a play on words around my aggressive use of passive voice in my writing. I tend to fall naturally into the passive voice and I struggle to recognize it and correct it. I have been criticized no end for my passive voice.
There was a time believe it or not that I was rather competent in English language. Yes – I even got a grade A at O-Level! 🙂
Then I left the straight and narrow, and veered off in the direction of science instead. As you will see later, this latter point is important. These days, I wouldn’t couldn’t tell a preposition from a predisposition.
Last night, I spent some time reviewing passive and active, and trying to see how to make my written English better. I’m none the wiser although now I know it involves focus on action and objects apparently. I guess I’m all about action and so passive seems better? Then I stumbled on a website that discussed when a passive voice was acceptable; indeed preferred. Guess what? It turns out a passive voice is better for observational write ups like a scientific report, for example. In fact, scientists use the passive actively as opposed to literary folk who actively use the active and frown on the passive.
And so there you have it. After years of scientific dissertations, reports, theses and papers, I’m addicted to the passive voice. Blind to it, in fact. I’m passive-aggressive!
As I complete this article, I note that Yoast SEO is telling me that it is 21.7% passive voice but I’m damned if I can find them!