Let's look back to a 2004 essay of mine arguing that good writing isn't the all-active-voice affair that some English teachers had insistently made us believe, and that there is, in fact, a perfectly valid place and role for passive-voice sentences. The active voice is surely a handy default vehicle for expressing ourselves clearly, but the passive voice does a better job when we need to call attention not to the doer of the action but to the receiver of the action, to the instrument used in the action, or to the action itself.

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