+0
Hi All

First of all, what do you think of the verb "passivize"? Do you like it?

Second, can "passivize" be used intransitively?

The Cambridge series of dictionaries give it as only transitive whilst the OED gives it as both transitive and intransitive.

E.G. of intran. use:

"Only transitive verbs can passivize."

I posted that sentence on another forum and there is a clear spilt between those who agree and do not that "passivize" can be used intransitively.
+0
I suppose it depends on which -ize verb you use as the model -- the inchoatives, wherein X-ize = to become X(ed), or the causatives, wherein X-ize = to cause to become X(ed).

Inchoatives. (Intransitives - Active Voice.)
The workers organized. They formed a union.
The sugar crystallized when the water evaporated.
The troops mobilized in response to the alert.
The iron filings oxidized in no time at all.
After a period of chaotic motion, the device finally stabilized.

Other intransitives.
[The singers / The colors] harmonized beautifully.
The only reason they joined the club was to socialize.

Causatives. (Transitives - Active or Passive Voice possible - Active shown.)
The surgeon's assistant had already sterilized the equipment.
To look sensational at age 70, moisturize your skin daily.
The salesmen were encouraged to personalize their approach to the clients.
The corporation began an initiative to standardize all their software.
England colonized the western shore of the Atlantic centuries ago.
Missionaries had already christianized the country long before World War I.

Other transitives.
We cannabalized the old car for its parts.

Personally, I find the -ize verbs formed from an adjective, e.g., "passive", are more likely than not to be causatives (transitive). My first impulse is to say "passivize" would be transitive. Still, as with "stabilize" and "mobilize" [above], an intransitive use might be possible, as your example shows. So it all boils down to whether your loyalty is to Cambridge or Oxford.

Emotion: smile

CJ
Comments  
I'll stick with Oxford, it can help justify many of the grammar errors I make. A friend says it is an "English used catalogue" these days, as opposed to an "English usage dictionary".

I like it though.

Emotion: smile