This morning in my daily newspaper I read two sentences with passive verbs so bad that I had to write about them:
Owen is thanked for his past 12 years of service.
Republican McCraw is endorsed for lieutenant governor for the potential her skills and background hold for the state.
Some passive verbs are bad. Those are awful. Who thanks Owen for his years of service? Who endorses McCraw for her skills?
Actually I know it is The Seattle Times editorial board that endorses Owen, since I read these examples on the editorial page of today's newspaper. (The link is to the online version, although I read the paper version with my breakfast.)
Here are simple revisions of those dreadful sentences:
We thank Owen for his past 12 years of service.
We endorse McCraw for lieutenant governor for the potential her skills and background hold for the state.
Normally I praise publicly and criticize anonymously. But editors should give us better writing.
To learn more about passive verbs and where they belong, read my "No Place for Passive Verbs," "A Tip on Passive Verbs," and "Know Where Passive Verbs Belong." I thank you and endorse your reading them!