Who Is Doing It?

I ran into several sentences today that all suffered from the same problem I addressed in my “Plans Don’t Contemplate” Tip of the Day.

Bad Example #1:

Well logs can compute decline curve parameters.

Yeah, I want to see a well log do a computation. Generally, they just sit there, passive, looking pretty in their colorful garb. So who is doing the computation? People use the well log data to do the computation, so passive voice is needed here.

Corrected Example #1:

Well logs can be used [by people] to compute decline curve parameters.

Bad Example #2:

Standard openhole logs are capable of creating synthetic production logs.

No, they are not. They just sit there, looking pretty. Again we need passive voice, as the openhole logs are the object that people use to create the synthetic production logs.

Corrected Example #2:

Standard openhole logs can be used to create synthetic production logs.

(Note that “openhole” is a single word when used as an adjective modifying “logs.”)

Bad Example #3:

The Buckley-Leverett relation can obtain the flow rate.

Oh, yeah? How? Does Mr. Buckley’s aunt go to the store and buy it? No.

Corrected Example #3:

The Buckley-Leverett relation can be used to obtain the flow rate.

(Note that Buckley-Leverett is hyphenated just like Dean-Stark because they are two people. Karl Fischer, on the other hand, is a single person, so no hyphen is needed.)

I will share three more bad examples that suffer from this same illness tomorrow.
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Profound Quote of the Day: “Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or greater Benefit. – Napolean Hill, author of the book Think and Grow Rich, 1883-1970

One Response to “Who Is Doing It?”

  1. Can inanimate objects own or do things? « CyberText Newsletter Says:

    […] https://oilpatchwriting.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/who-is-doing-it/ […]

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