Recently, I read an article in The
Chronicle Review entitled, "50
Years of Stupid Grammar Advice." More importantly, the writer
attacks the book, The Elements of Style, a book I have
How to react? I feel the writer,
Geoffrey K. Pullam, has a point. He singles out the book's
admonition against using the passive voice, one he says that
markers will "red-circle everything that looks like a passive,"
forgetting that The Elements of Style also says that the
passive voice is "frequently convenient and sometimes necessary."
More damaging is Pullam's
dissection of the sample sentences, which upon close inspection
are not in the passive voice at all (three of four examples are
incorrect). I suggest that teachers (and their students) read
Pullam's article and decide for themselves.
See our most