The dog was bitten by a man
A man did bite the dog
Sometimes it looks like passive voice is taking over, especially when people are trying to be official or elegant.
The worst users of the passive voice are business and government folk trying to avoid taking responsibility.
Business and government employees should use simple tools like that
Fred gave Sue a picture of herself
Unfortunately, while I made the distinction between "guidance" and "uglifying" when I wrote the bookmarklet, I didn't make it when I wrote about the bookmarklet, and many now see the Passivator as some sort of writing pal. I should have put something in big bright lights at the top of the Passivator piece that says "FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY--DOES NOT REPLACE REAL GRAMMAR KNOWLEDGE." ... To defend myself, I was hammering away to make a point, and those sentences are overwrought as a result ... yes, I did leave passive constructions in there, and several others throughout the piece ... The point I wanted to make in doing so was that to-be form verbs aren't always evil, and I can see now that this was way, way, way too subtle a way to make that point... The people who've been reading me for years, I think, tend to get it when I'm off in that world of textual perturbation and having fun, but of course when I wrote the Passivator piece I was, if not directly giving advice, implying that I know something. That is the opposite of my personal motto, which is "I have much to learn." .... Alas, I should have followed my own advice more carefully, and since no one seems to get what I'm up to on this one, aside from folks who've known me for years, the problem clearly rests with the author.
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