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A few double passives are defensible—e.g.:

“Offerings in compliance with Regulation D are not required to be registered with the SEC under the Securities Act.”

As Ernest Gowers (FMEU2 at 139) noted: “In legal or quasi-legal language this construction may sometimes unexceptionable:

Diplomatic privilege applies only to such things as are done or omitted to be done in the course of a person’s official duties.

Motion made: that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question”

But these are of a different kind from are sought to be included and are attempted to be refuted, which can be easily remedied by recasting. The principle is that if the first passive-voice construction can be made active—leaving the passive infinitive intact—the sentence is correctly formed.

Why aren't here registered or left out adjectives instead?

Secondly, why is the verb omit accepted when it doesn't work with said "principle", for example

ACTIVE: Expect/*omit somebody to do something

PASSIVE: Something is expected/*omitted to be done (by somebody)

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  • I expected to mention this and I omitted to mention that are both perfectly idiomatic, but with I expected to see this / I omitted to see that, the "omit" version is at the very least "unusual". And if there's an "embedded subject" in the infinitival clause, as in I expected you to say this, the corresponding "omit" version I omitted you to say that is just completely invalid. That's because the two verbs have different syntactic affordances. Jul 15 at 15:02
  • @FumbleFingers "Recently I heard it suggested by a friend that too many books appear with endnotes. Grammatically speaking, that sentence contains the implied verb being after it, so it’s in the passive voice. To make it active: Recently I heard a friend suggest that too many books appear with endnotes." Then, should it not have benn be in its passive, instead of the present participle?
    – GJC
    Jul 15 at 15:14
  • I've got no problem with Never again will I stand by in silence and watch you be attacked. But I'm also fine with It nearly killed me to watch you being attacked. AND I'm fine with I was sick at heart to see you attacked earlier today. I'm not convinced it makes any difference to the meaning whether to be is an infinitive, continuous, or simply omitted. Jul 15 at 16:51

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