Better people than I advocate for active writing

The January 9 New York Times profiled the former Alfred E. Kahn, an economist and champion of plain English in academe and everywhere.  As my regular readers know, I share his passion for the active voice.

“The passive voice is wildly overused in government writing,” Kahn said in a memo to his staff. “Typically its purpose is to conceal information — one is less likely to be jailed if one says, ‘He was hit by a stone,’ than if he says, ‘I hit him with a stone,’” he wrote, adding that “The active voice is far more forthright, direct, humane.”

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  1. Pingback: Saul Alinsky and the power of words | Douglas Communications Group

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