Sunday 16 May 2021 | 06:58 | SYDNEY
Sunday 16 May 2021 | 06:58 | SYDNEY

Reader ripostes: On language

6 October 2010 17:14

Below, Edward vents about 'in terms of', but first, Kirill Reztsov says Sam has misused the term 'passive voice':

Sorry Sam. You are wrong on the passive voice. Both examples are in the active voice, in that the subject of the sentence is doing something.

  • The issue (subject) overshadowed (verb) the final day of the meeting.
  • The spat with Abbott (subject) overshadowed (verb) Australia's appearance.

Passive voice is where the subject of the sentence has something done to them. e.g. 'Afghanistan was visited by Julia Gillard'.

Reader Edward on 'in terms of':

Reading the recent post on the share of economic growth in the G7 vs the G12, I noticed that the phrase 'in terms of' has made another ignoble appearance. This phrase is really driving me bananas. It is one of the most virulent examples of corporatese currently going around. Not a single conversation seems to occur without 'in terms of' being said at least several times. What does it mean to say 'in terms of'' Why not simply make your point without referring first to the topic or 'terms' on which you want to make a point' 

Rather than 'in terms of the share of global economic activity, the G7 has now been overtaken by the G12...', why not simply say 'the G12's share of global economic activity has overtaken the G7's''