Friday, July 25, 2008

In Defense of the Weak Passive

Friday, July 25, 2008

According to Rule 1-18 of my handbook, “Don’t be afraid to use the passive voice… When we use the passive we feel we’re breaking a rule. We are not. The passive voice is respectable, is capable of expressing thoughts and shades of meaning that the active voice cannot express, and is even sometimes more compact and direct than the active voice.” Huh? I did a double take. In writing, have we not been taught to prefer the “strong” active over the “weak” passive? In life, have we not been taught to always take an active part and assert ourselves? Yes.

But sometimes, it is OKAY to just let things be. We need not do anything.

Just as we feel that we are breaking a rule when we use the passive, we are afraid that by not doing anything, we will lose control over things; that inaction is a form of weakness. We forget that there are things that are beyond our control; that inaction can also be a sign of strength. We try too hard making things happen instead of just letting them happen.

By not doing anything, everything eventually falls into place.

2 comments:

Vitchie said...

I do believe in this philosophy,

"By not doing anything, everything eventually falls into place."

But then somebody is accusing me of being 'lazy'.

Angeli said...

hahaha..

 
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