I just read read a piece online (link to article in quote), and I’m peeved. There’s a more powerful phrase that alliterates with today’s P’s: I’m pi**ed off.
Allow me my soap pox for the moment:
“...knew inappropriate action was taken by…” WTP?
In this context, passive voice reduces the impact of Jerry Sandusky’s alleged criminal acts of pedophilia. Plus it pushes Paterno one step further from complicity. Preferable: “Paterno knew Jerry Sandusky took inappropriate action with youngster in 2002.”
And “youngster?” Please. Spare us that word choice, which subtly connotes playfulness, boys being boys, easy-going participation. How about the truth? “Child.”
In a perfect world of words, paid spinmeisters protecting the powerful would be prohibited from “speaking” on behalf of their clients. Parterno would have to speak for himself. Perhaps, he’d stumble upon what ought to be put before the public:
“I knew Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile, that he abused a child in my facilities in 2002. I chose not to go to the police over the weekend.”
Paterno is not the criminal in this case. But make no mistake: he’s complicit, and his posse is using the passive voice to propose Paterno’s complicity is, well, less complicit.
There. I’ve said my peace. I’m going outside now to play soccer, or ride bikes, or simply be present while my children enjoy a sunny day. I need to unplug and let my pessimism lessen amidst the innocent shouts and joys of childhood.