How many people are experts on the passive voice, but not the active voice? Or want to learn about one, but not the other? It seems silly to me to treat these as distinct subjects. It would be like having separate tags for "singular" and "plural".

Also, a large proportion of the questions tagged with are also tagged with .

I propose renaming to "grammatical voice," and then marking as a synonym. Of course, keep "passive voice" and "active voice" as redirects.

(Another possible synonym is , which only has two questions. However, perhaps middle voice is rare enough that it should be kept as a distinct tag.)

  • I'd support that. It's also similar to our grammatical-number/gender/structure tags. We should however make passive voice a synonym of the new as well. Otherwise it will surely be recreated and fester alongside.
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 7:30
  • @Helmar: I was proposing renaming "passive voice" to "grammatical voice" and redirecting from "passive voice" to this tag. I assume that's easier than creating a new tag, although I don't know the details.
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 7:31
  • I missed that sentence, my mistake. Anyways, you've got my support to summarize all those tags as grammatical-voice
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 7:33
  • I think that a vital piece of information with these requests is what the tag info and excerpt will look like. That of "passive-voice" is good. [active-voice] doesn't have one. Currently, I'm not in favour of merging, and it seems likely that questions should very rarely have both tags. For myself, I need a more detailed analysis than this proposal, I'm afraid.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 9:34
  • Here's a question which should (and does) have [passive-voice] and should not (and doesn't) have [active-voice]: How can I reliably and accurately identify the passive voice?.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


I have a different opinion on naming to "grammatical voice" for the following reasons:

  1. "Grammatical voice" is not a popular term compared with passive voice and active voice. I think or could work better than if you want to redirect other tags.

  2. has 328 questions and has only 63 questions. I think it would be more efficient just to synonymize the latter with the former. Other potential terms that could be used in the future also should be synonymized.

  • Actually, that's a good reason to change the name. "Popular" is not a criterion for voice. As has been demonstrated repeatedly, most people (certainly most who post here) have a limited or faulty understanding of the English passive construction. Encouraging a popular but erroneous concept is not conducive to understanding. Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 18:25
  • @JohnLawler What is erroneous concept by your definition?
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 18:30
  • 1
    The idea that, for instance, English has a "voice system", like Latin did. English has a passive construction which can be recognized, but it's not a voice system. And it is safest to assume that questioners don't really understand the passive construction, among many others. Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 18:35
  • 1
    @JohnLawler No matter how you term or name it, people call it "passive/active voice" and there is nothing wrong with it. If you propose ELU name the tag "passive construction", please go ahead and post your answer. I will upvote it.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 18:38
  • I propose that ELU get rid of tags altogether and stop pretending they have any use or system. They're a hopeless mess and no amount of tweaking will change them magically. Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 18:42
  • @JohnLawler If you propose that on Mata, I will upvote it millions of times.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 18:45
  • 2
    @JohnLawler, as a tiny lesser demonic advocacy: I use (for example) the etymology tag to efficiently draw my attention; 'favoriting' the tag highlights questions so tagged in the question list. So the tags have a use. I'm sure there are other ways of going about it, but I discovered that way by chance and don't have much ambition to make similar discoveries otherwise.
    – JEL
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 8:25

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