Tool 4 ~ Be passive-aggressive.

And then there comes a time to embrace passive verbs.

“Use passive verbs to showcase the “victim” of action.”

Clark talks about how sometimes life happens . . . like the passenger pigeons were wiped out (24). Or like students are taught (24). Something happened to something else. Use passive voice to emphasize that to. Sometimes needs passive voice.

“Active verbs move the action and reveal the actors” (26).

“Passive verbs emphasize the receiver, the victim” (26).

“The verb to be links words and ideas” (26).

Think of politicians. Maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to use passive voice. “They say, ‘It must be admitted, now that the report has been reviewed, that mistakes were made,’ rather than, ‘I read the report, and I admit I made a mistake’ ” (26).

In conclusion, and perhaps specifically to politicians, Clark says, “Here’s a life tool: always apologize in the active voice” (26).


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