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A Gannett Louisiana Content Production Center share point

I’m hearing voices

Posted by kathyspurlock on November 12, 2009

Southerners, in particular, tend to speak in passive voice.

Writers translate that into print.

Not good for keeping readers awake.

Passive voice is technically defined as: A verb form or voice in which the grammatical subject receives the verb’s action.

Clear as mud, right?

Think about: The ball was thrown by Bob.

That’s passive voice.

Active voice is preferred in journalistic writing. It conveys the sense of action and immediacy we need to engage readers in our stories. Subject. Verb. Action! 

That same sentence in active voice: Bob threw the ball.

Shorter. More direct. Preferred.


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