Passive Resistance

Geoffrey Pullum shows up with a list of names, and all out of grammatical bubblegum:
"Merriam-Webster reports an average of about 13-percent passives in newspapers and magazines (which they note is much lower than the 20-percent rate they find in the classic 1946 essay by Orwell warning against passives). And here we have double that percentage, in the writing of an academic who imagines that she avoids passives! But this is where modern American writing instruction has brought us. Totally unmotivated warnings against sentences that have nothing wrong with them are handed out by people who (unwittingly) often use such sentences more than the people they criticize."
Full article here...

ht: Language Log

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