Using grammar to play up the good and play down the bad
23 October 2015
The New York Times has an interesting article about how Texas school textbooks use grammatical structure when talking about the history of slavery, to emphasize the less-bad parts and de-emphasize the worse parts. The short version: To play up the good, write sentences in the active voice, with real people as the subjects and real verbs. To play down the bad, use passive voice and hide your verbs in nominalizations.
For an older article on the same topic, follow this link.