The passive should be discouraged…

Ah, the passive voice, our default way of writing. Why do we always fall back on the passive? ‘Dogs should be left on a leash,’ ‘mixing is to be encouraged,’ and so on. Notices and documentation seem to be drawn to the passive like moths to the flame.

The passive is impersonal, overly authoritative and stuffy. Which means, from a business point of view, it prevents sales rather than promotes sales. It’s not friendly or engaging.

The active voice is more involving, inviting, influential. That’s why marketers and sales people use it. It encourages action, which is why it’s called the active voice.

In the example above, better to say:

Mind your kids and the shrubbery will mind itself

 

Advertisements