The Passive Voice, Stephen King and a Cat called Fang

Time for a little passive posting — er, reblogging — courtesy of the hilarious (and informative) author Chris J. Randolph, who has this to say for (and about) himself:

Once upon a time, Chris J. Randolph was a pimply faced kid in a black jacket, living in fear of the passive voice and its festering evil. Now he’s a pimply faced adult who bitterly wishes he’d never called the exterminator.

He’s a high school graduate who’s read a few books on grammar and linguistics, follows several celebrity linguists online, and has self-published a handful of books about living technology, hulking barbarians, and wizards in space (all separately, of course).

Ready, set, reblog:

cue dramatic music

The passive voice… Among writers, it’s public enemy number one. This heartless killer is responsible for a string of grisly slayings that stretch across history, beginning all the way back in ancient Sumer and continuing on to the present day. It’s already in your home, crawling on your ceiling, and you could be its next victim.

No one is truly safe while the passive voice remains a fugitive from justice, and that’s why I’m writing this — to expose its darkest, most depraved secrets, and to ask for your assistance in stopping the monster once and for all.

You’ve read that article before, haven’t you? There are thousands of the sort floating around, and they’re completely impossible to avoid. I know… I’ve tried. They’re plastered across magazine covers and they haunt every writing blog’s sidebar, with eye-catching titles like How the Passive Voice is Ruining Your Story, or Six Ways to Find and Eliminate the Passive Voice… Local Water Supply Contaminated by Virulent Passive Voice… National Guard Clashes With Passive Voice in the Streets.

They all make the same claims; that it’s weak, evasive, passionless, bloodless, and annoying. Most throw in a few samples so you can see the beast’s horrific nature, then they wow you with an exhibition of the active voice’s immense muscle… and that’s pretty much it. They give you a pat on the back and send you off to slay the dragon.

This isn’t one of those articles… it’s a response to them. If you’d like to learn the whole story, this is the place to be.

Well, actually, THIS is the place to be to read the whole article — which is the most thorough analysis of the passive voice I’ve read, PLUS it’s amusing, PLUS it makes great use of both Stephen King and a black cat called Fang.

(This is not a picture of Fang. This is Hocus Poke-us, on her “Cushun of Shame”. Kinda makes yer eyes water, don’t she?)

black cat with white eyes



3 responses

  1. LOL We were speaking of passive voice just this morning in my house!~ Then saw this and was like “This must be fate!” LOL

  2. That turquoise writing on yellow crashed my computer…

    Or, rather: my computer was crashed by the turquoise writing on the background that was yellow.

    1. Let’s keep this going!:

      The LOL that was Logan’s was prompted by this reblog…

      And the green grass was grown all around, all around,
      And the green grass was grown all around.

      The computer that was John’s was crashed by the turquoise writing on the background that was yellow…

      And the green grass was grown all around, all around,
      And the green grass was grown all around.

      This is a really bad song, folks.

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