Thursday, February 7, 2008

Angry Language Guy

I'm not sure if this is a regional dialect thing, or if it's pretty common around the English speaking world. Sometimes when bad things happen, people describe the situation in a way that makes it sound as if the victim intended for the accident to happen.

"He had his leg broken last year."

"That school district had a teacher killed last year."

"He had his car stolen last week."

I suppose that the instruction we get regarding the passive voice (it's always bad) in our intermediate education may lead us away from statements like, "His leg was broken last year," but this replacement is just a bit confusing.

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