JS Tip 300: Active and Passive Voice, Part V

Tips from Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting

** From the Writing Workshops: Active and Passive Voice V

Having Fun with Passive Voice

We explored this topic five years ago. We’ve had recent inquiries, so we’re exploring the topic again in a series of tips. This is the last in the series.

Our friend Joe Collet, of Lutheran Hour Ministries, suggested we have some fun with passive voice. He suggested we invent some more memorable quotations in passive voice.

He suggested we take famous quotations in active and twist them into passive.

For example—

“Paris will always be had by us.” (Rick to Ilsa in Casablanca) “Liberty must be given to me or death must be given to me!” (Patrick Henry) “The truth can’t be handled by you!” (Colonel Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men) “The force must be trusted.” (Obi-wan Kenobi in Star Wars) “Ahead must be gone. My day must be made.” (Harry Callahan in Sudden Impact)

They sound goofy, don’t they? They sound goofy because passive voice is goofy.

Have fun. Make up your own. The exercise demonstrates how awkward passive voice can be.

** Recent Tips

JS Tip 298: Active and Passive Voice, Part IV
JS Tip 298: Active and Passive Voice, Part III
JS Tip 297: Active and Passive Voice, Part II
JS Tip 296: Active and Passive Voice, Part I
JS Tip 295: Some More Discussion about Honesty

 

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