Monthly Archives: October 2015

Returning to My Blog

Hi there, grammar-loving friends!

I’m sorry for taking such a long break from my blog and website; it’s been a super busy year. I moved, found a rewarding full-time job, adopted a wonderful cat named Topher, and ended up with a constantly full plate seemingly overnight.

But, I’m back! And, excited to put some focus into my grammar blog. So, stay tuned! In the meantime, I’d like to share a tip that’s appropriate for this time of year…

Remember that if you use active voice (versus passive voice) in your writing, you’re more likely to be clear on your intent and come across as a strong, competent writer. But, how can you tell when you’re using one versus the other?

Zombies

That’s right. Those scary (for most of us) undead creatures so prevalent at this time of year. If you add the phrase “by zombies” to the end of your sentence and the sentence still makes sense, you’re using passive voice. For example:

  • Passive voice: “This weekend, the kids were dressed in Halloween costumes.”
  • Passive voice test: “This weekend, the kids were dressed in Halloween costumes by zombies.” 
  • Active voice rewrite: “The kids dressed up in Halloween costumes this weekend.”

See what I mean? The zombies totally could have dressed the kids in the passive voice example! And, wouldn’t that be seriously awkward ;-).

A grad school classmate shared this tip with me and it’s always stuck. I hope it works for you, too! Or at least brings a smile to your face. If that doesn’t, below is a little zombie nostalgia in the form of the trailer for my favorite zombie movie, 28 Days Later. Enjoy!