Passive Voice Day was held last week.

The linguistic phenomenon known as passive voice is hated by editors, checked by computers, and used by all of us. But it’s not well understood, and often misidentified in the press. How can it be spotted, and should it be eliminated entirely?

Passive voice will be explained once and for all by UWA linguist Daniel Midgley in this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Show notes

April 27 was determined to be Passive Voice Day by shaunm on Shaun’s Blog.

The move was praised by Language Log, where it was noticed that the passive voice was recognised correctly.

Not everyone gets the passive voice. Strunk and White were early n00bz.

More recently, US president Barack Obama has been criticised for passive voice

by people who don’t know what that is.

Grammar Girl’s take on the passive is pretty good.

Other languages have other voices besides active and passive. Greek has middle voice. (PDF)

Hey, I was right — Mongolian (Classic version) is the one that has five voices.

“I prefer the passive-aggressive voice, but whatever it’s fine if you ignore me.”