Hi -
Do active and passive voices no longer matter at all?

e.g. "...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which has sold well in Australia..."
With thanks.
Kevin from Hong Kong
Do active and passive voices no longer matter at all? e.g. "...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which has sold well in Australia..."

That's as close as we get to a "middle voice" in English and it's quite accepable. Consider "The car was baking in the sun" or (a plaint frequently encountered among eBayers) "Has this item shipped yet?"

=46or "middle voice", start here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice (grammar)#The middle voice

=20
Bob
http://www.kanyak.com
Hi - Do active and passive voices no longer matter at all?

No not at all. Not the slightest little bit. (sarcasm off)
e.g. "...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which has sold well in Australia..."

The title is in the active voice. The subordiate clause is in the passive, but otoh, how could you phrase it in the active? "which many people in Australia have bought..." Even that is a leap. He may well not know who has bought the books. Maybe bookstores have bought them but few customers. If the author doesn't keep close track of sales, and he probably doesn't, he has no way of knowing who bought them, he only knows what he was told, that they sold well.
With thanks. Kevin from Hong Kong

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
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Or maybe not. See Opin's post. I'm going to blame my inattention on the fact that the passive voice was mentioned in the OP. Gotta blame something.
but otoh, how could you phrase it in the active? "which many people in Australia have bought..." Even that is ... he has no way of knowing who bought them, he only knows what he was told, that they sold well.

With thanks. Kevin from Hong Kong

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
Hi - Do active and passive voices no longer matter at all? e.g. "...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which has sold well in Australia..."

It is perfectly idiomatic to use a transitive verb intransitively, taking as subject what would be its object in a transitive sentence. This avoids the awkwardness of the passive
...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which has been sold in large quantities in Australia...

and the flabbiness of introducing a subject that is either obvious or of no interest:
...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which many people in Australia have bought...

In this example the passive and transitive versions are at least possible, but in other cases, e.g. "my new car drives very well", they would not be.
The same construction works well in French also (though the reflexive is perhaps more common), so my guess is that it goes back a long way, and that your "no longer" implying that there was once a time one couldn't use transitive verbs intransitively is not valid.
athel
Hi - Do active and passive voices no longer matter at all? e.g. "...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which has sold well in Australia..."

She should have said, "I lost my virginity in Australia. I sold it. Read my autobiography."
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"...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which has sold well in Australia..."

She should have said, "I lost my virginity in Australia. I sold it. Read my autobiography."

LOL! I should kick myself for missing that dangling modifier. Part of my job is to catch such things.
=20
Bob
http://www.kanyak.com
"...My autobiography, Losing My Virginity, which has sold well in Australia..."

She should have said, "I lost my virginity in Australia. I sold it. Read my autobiography."

LOL! I should kick myself for missing that dangling modifier. Part of my job is to catch such things.
=20
Bob
http://www.kanyak.com