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In the following sentence is the word logged functioning as the predicate adjective/ subject compliment or is it a verb phrase, or could it be both?

Once the user passes authentication and the first part of authorization, the user is logged in to the client.

This second sentence is how my editor changed it to be "active" in her opinion.

Once the user passes authentication and the first part of authorization, the user logs in to the client.

My technical editor says "They actually mean the same thing, though one is passive and one is active. There is no difference grammatically, except that we cannot write in a passive voice in technical documentation. The only way you could interpret it differently is if something else is logging the user in -- if so, you need another noun to correct this."

My point is that the user is doing any action here and that's why I wrote it the way I did, using a linking verb and then logged to describe the state of the user after passing through the authentication process.
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'My point is that the user is doing any action here '

Did you mean to write 'not doing'? In which case, the passive voice is appropriate semantically. But if the rule is 'Never use passive voice in a technical document', another word or phrase is necessary, perhaps forcing a construction less fluid sounding. (But, hey. when has that ever been a priority with technical documents?)

I'll bet your editor won't like this revision, for different reasons:

After the user passes authentication and the first part of authorization, the status of the user is 'logged on to the client.'

Sorry not to have an answer to the part of your question about grammatical categories.
Thank you for your reply!

Yes, I meant to say that the user is not doing any action here. They have already started the login process and now the server is authenticating them. Once the server authenticates the user, the user is logged in. Or, you could say the login process is completed. The way my editor changed it, it now reads to me that the user is logging in after the authentication is done, which is impossible.
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Thank you for your reply!

Yes, I meant to say that the user is not doing any action here. They have already started the login process and now the server is authenticating them. Once the server authenticates the user, the user is logged in. Or, you could say the login process is completed. The way my editor changed it, it now reads to me that the user is logging in after the authentication is done, which is impossible.
Dawnie
The way my editor changed it, it now reads to me that the user is logging in after the authentication is done, which is impossible.

I read it the same way, and it's more misleading than breaking the rule about passive voice. Can you say, 'Once the server authenticates the user, the server logs in the user to the client.'?
I will think about that; something close to that might work. The editor thinks the two sentences mean the same thing because she thinks that "is logged" is the verb and is just changing it to logs in still says the same thing. However, the verb is just is with logged being a predicate adjective that describes the state of the user (logged in) so these two sentences definitely say something different to me. I read in article that in this case, that people poorly versed in grammar will mark this type of verb with a predicate adjective as a passive when it is not. --

False-Scenting Passives
After you make a correction to emphasis, someone may see a passive contruction where none exists. Consider the previous example:

    Widows and Orphans Protection is always enabled when the Format dialog first appears.


A person with a less-than-solid grasp of grammar might take "is enabled" for a passive verb (where an unknown actor did the enabling), when the reality is that the active verb of being ("is") is followed by a predicate adjective ("enabled") describing the state of the Widows and Orphans Protection.

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http://www.writersblock.ca/tips/monthtip/tipmar97.htm
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I should say that my credentials are 'native speaker', not 'professional grammarian'. I hope this thread will soon attract those who can confirm your position. Then it might carry some weight with your editor.
This is not simply a matter of changing a sentence from passive to active voice; the actual meaning of the sentence was changed by your editor.

In the first sentence, I am led to believe that the user is automatically logged in once he or she passes authentication and the first part of authorization. In the second sentence, I am led to believe that the user has an active role in logging in once he or she passes authentication and the first part of authorization. The distinction may be small, but it's still an important distinction in technical writing.

Let your editor know that he or she shouldn't be so adamant about eliminating the passive voice in technical writing. Passive voice is the most suitable choice for certain situations in technical writing.

Here is a helpful quote from Capital Community College's (http://www.ccc.commnet.edu ) grammar guide: "The passive voice is especially helpful (and even regarded as mandatory) in scientific or technical writing or lab reports, where the actor is not really important but the process or principle being described is of ultimate importance. Instead of writing 'I poured 20 cc of acid into the beaker,' we would write 'Twenty cc of acid is/was poured into the beaker.' The passive voice is also useful when describing, say, a mechanical process in which the details of process are much more important than anyone's taking responsibility for the action: 'The first coat of primer paint is applied immediately after the acid rinse.'"
Thank you, Chunes,

'Passive voice is the most suitable choice for certain situations in technical writing.'
(One might wish to add, in any kind of writing.)

This really needs to be said, even if it cannot be backed by authoritative sources. It just makes intrinsic sense, doesn't it?

It is just this kind of militancy about absolute rules that initially brought me to EnglishForward with a question of my own.
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