The Pointless Passive

I just came across a new (to me, anyway) irritating misuse of language. Until such time as I discover an earlier name for it, I’m calling it the Pointless Passive.

Here is the sentence (slightly modified to protect the guilty) that set my teeth on edge:

The association requires candidates to have attained a certain level of professional experience before being permitted to apply for membership.

The passive being permitted lets you omit the subject of the verb, and yet the subject, the association, is already right there in the freaking sentence, so what’s the point? Change being permitted to permitting them.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have a cup of coffee before work is returned to.

1 thought on “The Pointless Passive

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