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Why is 'appreciate' always passive?

Robin Pentecost

The Subject says it all. I simply hate "... Would be appreciated". It should always be "I appreciate..". Well, sort of. I just can't understand why authors seem to feel appreciation should be expressed by some unstated third party or parties. If I, or my character, feel that way, I would say it actively. Can anyone justify this construction? I fear nothing will change the practice.

Ernest Bywater

@Robin Pentecost

why authors seem to feel appreciation should be expressed by some unstated third party or parties.


because they don't know the names of the readers.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Robin Pentecost

I can see reasons some characters may express themselves with a false courtesy in dialogue, especially if performing a service or talking to someone with a higher status.

It would be similar to people often saying 'Will you please ...?' or 'May I ...?' when both parties know the intent is 'Do ...!' and 'I will ...!'

But I agree, it can be very irritating when used in a context which sounds unnatural.

awnlee jawking

@Robin Pentecost

Is it being used in a conditional sense? Eg if you want my appreciation, you have to stop your cat pooing all over my garden.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej

I can't understand your question. Do you appreciate someone buying you a beer? Does your bank balance appreciate when interest is added? Does your partner appreciate a hot bath?
It is not always passive. Yes, it can be passive but it is equally usable otherwise

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Is it being used in a conditional sense? Eg if you want my appreciation, you have to stop your cat pooing all over my garden.

I suspect he's referring to the common usage in author's blogs where they state "Positive feedback is appreciated" (rather than "I appreciate feedback").

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

"Positive feedback is appreciated" (rather than "I appreciate feedback").


There is a significant difference in meaning entirely aside from active vs passive voice between "Positive feedback is appreciated" and "I appreciate feedback".

awnlee jawking

The verb 'appreciate' strikes me as rather passive in nature.

How does money appreciate? Do the banknotes have sex and give birth to baby banknotes? No, they just sit there and some other agency does the work.

How do you appreciate a story? Do you write another chapter for it? No, at most you send the author a token of your esteem such as an e-mail or a paypal donation.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

How does money appreciate? Do the banknotes have sex and give birth to baby banknotes?

Yes, and it's called cumpound interest.

Ross at Play

@Robin Pentecost

The Subject says it all. I simply hate "... Would be appreciated". It should always be "I appreciate..".

Changing between the active and passive voice changes the subject, the most important thing, of the sentence.
The passive voice shows the writer considers the most important thing in the sentence is the action that would be appreciated.
The active voice shows the only thing that matters to the writer is themselves. You could try having the words 'I am a Selfish Prick' tattooed across your forehead; the results will be much the same.

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