Day 100: Grammar’s got me.

Years ago, I taught Composition and Business Writing at a university not too far from where I grew up. One of the concepts we English teachers teach is the concept of active and passive voice. Remember your days of grammar? If you hated it, hang in there with me.

Most often, active voice is our preference; the subject of the sentence performs an action (verb) on a direct object. After all, it IS active, clear and direct. For example, I (subject) bought (verb) a meal (direct object). Many people often prefer passive voice, maybe because they think it sounds smarter or maybe they don’t know who the subject is at all. For example: A meal (now the subject) was bought (verb) by me (now object of the preposition by). Often, in trying to keep WHO is doing the action out of a sentence, passive voice can get quite awkward. But, passive voice has a purpose, and is not always a bad choice; it just shouldn’t be the go-to form of writing a sentence, especially when you want your message to be clear and direct, and easier to understand.

As I think about findingkindreds, passive shouldn’t be our go-to either. Why wait for something to happen to us? So many of us do, and we might even complain about it because we feel it’s someone else’s turn to act. If we want to find those kindreds, or just make an impact on others, we should be out doing, being, connecting…not waiting for someone else to invite us. When we apply this grammar rule to our personal lives, we become less awkward, and who doesn’t want to be less awkward? 🙂

I know that the grammar nazi’s amongst us (I can be one) are counting the number of passive sentences I’ve used. I’m even laughing at some of my own. Despite my own poor example in writing from time-to-time, and despite my own poor judgment in being a passive spectator, instead of the active doer, from time-to-time, I can get it right sometimes, and so can you. It’s definitely worth the try.

DAY 100 HOMEWORK: If you’re waiting for someone to make the first move, beat them to it and you be the one who initiates the invitation, even if it is the 100th time. Practice active, and give grace to those who still want to hang out at passive. They’ll come along in time. If not, go along without them.

 

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