Is passive voice ever all right

Of course. At least three times:

• when you don't know the actor ("John was murdered.")

• when the actor is unimportant to the point you're making ("The senator was reelected.")

• when the emphasis is clearly not on the actor but on the acted upon ("What happened to the little girl?

The little girl was rescued.")

So don't think of passive voice as always bad. Think of it as putting unnecessary strain on the reader. Use passive when you need to—but be careful of overusing it. Seldom have readers suffered because writers overused active voice.

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