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Re: passive vs active voice in May 9 Proposed reorganization

From: Avi Arditti <aardit@voa.gov>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 16:12:19 -0400
Message-ID: <3EE0F5A3.198619EC@voa.gov>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
CC: David MacDonald <befree@magma.ca>

Re David's point about 3.3, note the words I've added in capital
letters  as a suggestion to help clarify ...

Best Practices 

1.the content has been reviewed, taking into account the following
strategies for evaluating the complexity of the content, applying them
as appropriate

      a.use of sentence structures that increase understanding 

	- such as active voice in languages AND CONTEXTS where this form helps
convey information. 


Idle thoughts ahead ...

It's a mantra in the clear-communications field: "keep sentences
active." Heaven knows there are too many needlessly (or purposely)
passive sentences out there. And this can be a problem especially for
non-native speakers (my audience as an editor). 

OK, together now, BUT ... take a sentence like "it is raining outside."
Do you really want to say "rain falls outside" just for the sake of
consistency? For dramatic effect, maybe. 

I'm with those who believe that if most other sentences are active --
certainly the ones where clarity is key -- then say "it is raining."
Readers are less likely to stop and say "huh?" 

Received on Friday, 6 June 2003 16:12:44 UTC

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