Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,
Spacefem
spacefem

passive voice?

Okay, so I'm writing a requirements document that I want to be SCANNABLE. At one point I write this:

1) REQUIREMENTS
Wire should be shown using thin lines.
Shielded wire should include color designations.
References should be shown in side boxes.
Block diagrams should be organized to minimize bending of lines.
Switches should be shown in their off state.

Then I remember that voice in the back of my head saying that passive voice is always teh bad. So I re-write it.

1) REQUIREMENTS
Show wire with thin lines.
Include color designations of shielded wire.
Use side boxes for references.
Organize block diagrams to minimize the bending of lines.
Show switches in their off state.

Now, the second bit there uses fewer words and sounds more nice and direct. But the first bit moves the most important, most-likely-to-be-scanned word to the front. This is for engineers. They do not like to read. Say they're wondering how to show shielded wires... they might like the first list better, because it's got a glaring sentence that starts, 'Shielded Wires'.

thoughts?
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 17 comments