Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rocking the Passive Voice XI

It's a Saturday night grading marathon here at PJMB World Headquarters. Why? Because that's just how we roll around here. But let's a take break from all that for a little passive voice:
Thank you very much for your interest in our open-rank positions this year (JFP vol. 171, positions [#] and [#]). We wanted to let you know that we have now filled both positions from an extremely impressive pool of applicants.

Please accept our best wishes for your future endeavors.

But wait just one god-damned minute. It reads so smoothly. It doesn't sound sound like shitty undergraduate prose. What's going on here? Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, there's no passive voice here at all!

No, indeed. This PFO goes beyond the passive voice. Clumsy auxiliary verbs simply cannot capture this degree of passivity. No, whoever wrote this letter is so fucking passive, he didn't even say he was rejecting me. That "Please accept our best blah, blah, blah"? That's just like when that girl you liked ended your date by saying nothing but, "Well, have a great rest of the summer!"--right before she slamed her door in your face.

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