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on being passive

August 10, 2010

Ha! Sorry, it’s a personal funny. I’m not really a passive person. I don’t think. Maybe passive aggressive sometimes, but, yeah, moving on.

This is what this post is really about: the passive voice. When I was in high school I was constantly being red-penned about writing in the passive voice. I never understood it. EVER! No matter who tried to explain it to me I just didn’t understand what I was doing wrong or how to fix it. If I’m honest, I still don’t and I have my teaching certification to teach high school English! Watch out kids!

Anywho- this is about the passive voice and selling. When it comes to that, I sort of know what I’m talking about. I think. My English major friends, please feel free to correct me. Please!

See, I read something somewhere talking about how to write your descriptions of your product in the active instead of the passive voice:

I created these miniature book keychains using nothing but scrap and the findings for a keychain!

v.

These mini keychains books have been created using nothing but scrap and the findings for a keychain!

I read, somewhere, like I said, maybe I should find that, that buyers like the active voice better- they like to know YOU created it . . . but wait. Etsy is primarily handmade items . . . primarily. Isn’t it apparent that I made this item? Isn’t there a tag somewhere that says “handmade”? I don’t know. Personally, I think it’s redundant and unprofessional sounding/looking, but that’s just me. Cause I’m evidently still in Love with the passive voice! Gar!

So, I’ve started trying to switch over though. To describe my items using the active voice instead, and it’s hard. Ridiculously hard. It just sounds so amateur to me. Stupid, I know.

So, tell me, what do you prefer:

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