Monday, April 06, 2009

You might be a little jaded by grading if you sent this e-mail to your grad students

I'm just saying, you know, hypothetically.

SUBJECT: Stop what you're doing RIGHT NOW

. . .unless you're, like, in the ER or something, and read Strunk and
White's advice on using the active voice. It's tip #14, and it's on
page 18 of the edition I have.

While you're at it, read #15, #16, and #17, too.

Seriously, you people have a love affair with the passive voice. And
you know what? It's time to break it off. He's just not that into
you (or your thesis).

Tip #14 folks, tip #14.

Your professor, your readers, your employers, and your country will
thank you.

That is all.

For now.

Leslie

9 comments:

Bardiac said...

In my old copy of Strunk and White, the part on not using the passive voice is largely IN the passive voice. :(

caostaff said...

I just tell my students to check all the boxes on the grammar check in Microsoft Word. :)

crgilvr said...

As someone who makes her living editing things that are written by academics, I just about fell off my chair laughing at this post.

Terminal Degree said...

Beautiful.

My hubby is an English prof, and he finally got a rubber stamp that says "Avoid passive voice."

He uses that stamp a lot. (And I borrow it a lot.)

ScienceWoman said...

Hear Hear. I'd like a stamp that says "explain your reasoning."

JustMe said...

this is totally awesome!

Kate said...

Ooh. We could have a whole line of stamps. I would like "where is the evidence?" and "awkward" stamps.

Jeff Mather said...

At least you're in a position to send such an e-mail. I find myself just gritting my teeth during meetings with my coworkers. "Several bugs were identified and reported to Intel."

grumpyabdadjunct said...

Oh man I hear you!

And I want a stamp that says "explain the significance of this."