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  1. #11
    Joe Zeff
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    I do know of one dragon who just might put a banana in a toster: Llewellyn, Ozy's adopted father in Ozy and Millie, a rather surrealistic on-line comic strip. To quote Llewellyn, "Whatever does not kill me makes me stranger."



  2. #12
    Kris Williams
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    Hey AJ - We live life according to Spongebob in this house! My kids and I quote whole passages from memory!

    Kris

  3. #13
    Robert Raven
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    Regards the "Waking up, I walked to the . . ." construction, I would lose as many of those things as possible. This one is a perfect illustration of the problem with them. You cannot "walk to the" anything WHILE waking up (unless you are a somnambulist, of course). This type of phrase juxtaposition construction almost always implies continuation and simultaneity, and that's not what you mean, usually. Think out the sequence of desired actions, and construct the sentence accordingly. Better yet, ACT them out, so you'll know if they are physically doable, or absurd.

    RR

  4. #14
    Robert Raven
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    Oh, and I also meant to say: In revising such sentences, you may also discover redundancies or superfluous phrases. For instance, if you change the cited example to something more sequentially clear, such as "After I woke up I walked to the . . ." you can see that the first phrase is useless; the reader can reasonably assume you woke up, if you're walking someplace.

    RR

  5. #15
    Kris T
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    I skipped the other responses to respond, so if I repeat anything, I apologize.

    It seems a tad dangerous to rely on anyone to tell you, w/o having read your ms, "Yeah, get rid of all passive voice."

    Passive voice might work in one sentence, and might not work in the next. It all depends on what you want your tone to be, how you want the language to flow, and where you want the emphasis.

    Kris T.

  6. #16
    Kris T
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    Also, do you think sentences like "Waking up, i walked to the..." are not as effective as "I woke up and i walked to the..."

    One last one - How do you format a discusion where person 1 is talking and person 2 interupts him. For example:

    "So i was putting the banana in a toaster-" I began, but the dragon interupted me.
    "Why would you put a banana in a toaster?"


    If you write something like, "WAking up, I walked..." anywhere, the assumption is that the two are being done simultaneously. The gerund phrase doesn't work with the following action unless the two can actually be done at the same time.

    Example:

    Spinning in my chair, I wondered how long it would take him to figure out I was avoiding answering his question.

    As for interruptions, there's more than one way you can do them. I prefer, personally, to EITHER use the dash, OR say I was interrupted, but doing both feels redundant.

    Kris T.

  7. #17
    A J
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    Thanks everyone for your help! I know it is hard to both wake up and walk somewhere simultaneously, but i just used the example just so show the use of a comma. Perhaps i should've used different wording haha.

  8. #18
    Rachael Elg
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    Maybe you should send the Boy, the Dragon, and the Toaster to Nickelodeon.....who knows? You could become rich...or they may laugh you out of the building....

    Rachael

  9. #19
    Kris T
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    Well, if the comma placement is all that concerns you...the way you use it in the first example is correct. It doesn't exist in the second, obviously, and one isn't better than the next as they're written here. What matters is what you're trying to convey; the language will change with the tone.

    Kris T.

  10. #20
    John Oberon
    Guest

    Re: Passive Voice, and a few other things

    Use passive voice when you want to emphasize passivity.

    Active: The car hit the man - the reader can easily infer intention to hit the man. Also connotes more "solidity" to the hit; the car ran him down.

    Passive: The man was hit by the car - reader can easily infer no intention to hit the man. Also connotes less "solidity" to the hit; the car incidentally clipped the man as a result of a collision with another car.

    That is the most effective use of passive voice. Otherwise, I'd jettison passive as much as possible. This does not include dialog, though.

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