After you commit your thoughts to a physical form, a reader has to pick them up. Sometimes in this process, your message gets slightly garbled. While it may not seem obvious, the way you structure a sentence can place blame on somebody or even onto yourself.
Consider, for example, that you jot down the simple statement, "Somebody left the garden hose on last night." The purpose of that message clearly seems to be on the sentence's subject, some unnamed culprit who forgot to turn off the water.
And perhaps you really want to make that point. However, to avoid a connotation of blame, you could have organized the sentence to not have an active subject: "The garden hose was left on last night." In the reader's mind, this changes the whole purpose of your message; your focus is now on the event, not on any particular individual.
In business, we often need to tread lightly when writing about negative events that need to be addressed and resolved. If our communication seems to just point a finger at another human, we typically then have to spend time proving guilt when the accused goes on the defensive, recanting our statement, and/or apologizing to that person. We might even have to remove spitballs from our hair. Regardless, we end up losing sight of the real issue at hand.
Keeping sentence structure in mind can also help you prevent damaging your own image in other ways. Sometimes, we unwittingly write sentences so that they point a finger right back at us as culprits even if we are not guilty.
If you write, for example, "I had a performance issue yesterday in my computer program," the reader is likely to assume that you are to blame just because of the sentence structure.
Had you written, "Yesterday, there was a performance issue in my computer program," then the reader would probably not consider you to be at fault, either consciously or subconsciously.
Be careful how you structure sentences; you might cause yourself grief by blaming somebody or even yourself. And is that water I hear running?