A recent LingEducator post on passive voice provided a number of links to sites that offered help for those trying to learn to identify this verbal inflection. LingEducator isn’t the only grammar blog with concerns about the way that passive voice is being taught. Geoffrey Pullum also wrote about passive voice usage for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Lingua Franca series. Here’s a link to Dr. Pullum’s article on prescriptive rules involving passive voice and to his summary of the grammatical qualities of passive voice on Language Log.
These are well worth checking out if you have concerns about passive voice in your own writing or in that of your students. As Pullum advises, it may not be as serious as you think.
P.S. Both LingEducator and Language Log have been nominated for “bestgrammar blogs” at Grammar.net. Please consider voting for one of us or the other fine blogs between now and October 27.