Richard Mitchell on agents and acts

Tom Wright j_thomas_wright at
Sat Sep 24 16:27:49 EST 2005

<html><div style='background-color:'><P>If the sentence includes "by John," "by Sam," or "by the cloud," then yes, there is an agent.&nbsp; Mitchell's point, however--and my point as it relates to technical journals--is that this kind of writing does cry out for some kind of formal fulfillment.</P>
<P>One example I give elsewhere is "Younger individuals with nonosteopenic bone were treated with an Anatomic or Multilock uncemented stem."&nbsp; It says they were treated--but it doesn't say who treated them.&nbsp; The emphasis of the sentence is more on the technological solution than on the human agent that's not even mentioned.</P>
<BLOCKQUOTE style="PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; BORDER-LEFT: #a0c6e5 2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"><FONT style="FONT-SIZE: 11px; FONT-FAMILY: tahoma,sans-serif">
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From: <I>Edappel8 at</I><BR>To: <I>j_thomas_wright at, kb at</I><BR>Subject: <I>Re: Richard Mitchell on agents and acts</I><BR>Date: <I>Fri, 23 Sep 2005 16:14:22 EDT</I><BR><BR><FONT face=arial,helvetica><FONT lang=0 face=Arial size=3>First, I'd never want to contradict anything Ed Appel has said.<BR><BR>Second, isn't there an agent in each of these passive-voice sentences, two of them human agents?---<BR><BR>The ball was hit by John.<BR><BR>John was struck by Sam.<BR><BR>The sun was covered by the cloud.<BR><BR>The adverbial phrase doesn't need to be included to make these assertions sentences, but such truncated, dramatically incomplete statements will cry out for some kind of formal fulfillment, n'est pas?<BR><BR>Bob Ashley, where are you?<BR><BR>Finally, does anybody know on what day and at what time the Burke Society business meeting will be held at NCA in Boston?<BR><BR><BR><BR>Ed</FONT> <BR></FONT></BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></div></html>

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