《英文写作圣经》:英文写作的基本原则(4)

作者: William Strunk Jr.  译者: 陈湘阳

(图/野人出版提供)

    人气: 427
【字号】    
   标签: tags: , ,

 

规则:  删除赘字。

 

文章要简洁才有力。句子里不该有冗词,段落里也不该有冗句。但这并不代表每个句子都要写得很短,或写作时要省略所有细节只写纲要,而是要“字字有真意”。

左边的常见用语都违反了这个原则,建议修改为右边:

the question as to whether

whether (the question whether) 是否

there is no doubt but that

no doubt (doubtless)无疑

used for fuel purposes

used for fuel 当作燃料

he is a man who

he

in a hasty manner

hastily 迅速地

this is a subject which

this subject 这个主题

His story is a strange one

His story is strange 他的故事很不寻常

the reason why is that

because 因为

 

特别注意,the fact that 不管出现在何处都是冗词,必须改写:

待修用法

建议用法

in spite of the fact that

though (although) 尽管

owing to the fact that

since (because) 因为

call your attention to the fact that

remind you (notify you)提醒你

I was unaware of the fact that

I was unaware that (did not know) 我不知道

the fact that he had not succeeded

his failure 他的失败

the fact that I had arrived

my arrival 我的到来

 

其他需注意的用词如 case、character、nature、system 请参照第四章。Who is、which was 之辈也常是冗词。

待修用法

建议用法

His brother, who is a member of the same firm.

His brother, a member of the same firm. 他在同一家公司上班的哥哥

Trafalgar, which was Nelson’s last battle.

Trafalgar, Nelsons last battle. 尼尔森打的最后一场仗特拉法加海战

 

肯定叙述比否定来得简洁;主动语态比被动来得简洁。另有一种常见的写法违反简洁原则—把一个较复杂的概念以一系列的句子或独立子句逐步说明。将所有句子合并为一句会是更好的做法。

原文

建议写法

Macbeth was very ambitious. This led him to wish to become king of Scotland. The witches told him that this wish of his would come true. The king of Scotland at this time was Duncan. Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth murdered Duncan. He was thus enabled to succeed Duncan as king. (51 words.)

马克白野心勃勃。这让他想成为苏格兰的国王。女巫们告诉他愿望会成真。当时的苏格兰国王是肯。马克白在妻子的怂恿下谋杀了肯。他因此能够继承王位。(51 字)

Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth achieved hisambition and realizedthe prediction of the witches by murdering Duncan and becoming king of Scotland in his place. (26 words.)

在妻子的怂恿之下,马克白谋杀了肯,继承了苏格兰的王位。他成就了自己的野心,也应验了女巫们的预言。(26 字)

 

*  *  *

英文原文:

RULE13 Omit needless words.

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that he make every word tell.

Many expressions in common use violate this principle:

the question as to whether whether (the question whether)
there is no doubt but that no doubt (doubtless)
used for fuel purposes used for fuel
he is a man who he
in a hasty manner hastily
this is a subject which this subject
His story is a strange one His story is strange
the reason why is that because

In especial the expression the fact that should be revised out of every sentence in which it occurs.

in spite of the fact that though (although)
owing to the fact that since (because)
call your attention to the fact that remind you (notify you)
I was unaware of the fact that I was unaware that (did not know)
the fact that he had not succeeded his failure
the fact that I had arrived my arrival

See also under case, character, nature, system in Chapter IV. Who is, which was, and the like are often superfluous.

His brother, who is a member of the same firm. His brother, a member of the same firm.
Trafalgar, which was Nelson’s last battle. Trafalgar, Nelsons last battle.

As positive statement is more concise than negative, and the active voice more concise than the passive, many of the examples given under Rules 11 and 12 illustrate this rule as well. A common violation of conciseness is the presentation of a single complex idea, step by step, in a series of sentences or independent clauses which might to advantage be combined into one.

Macbeth was very ambitious. This led him to wish to become king of Scotland. The witches told him that this wish of his would come true. The king of Scotland at this time was Duncan. Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth murdered Duncan. He was thus enabled to succeed Duncan as king. (51 words.) Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth achieved hisambition and realizedthe prediction of the witches by murdering Duncan and becoming king of Scotland in his place. (26 words.)

 

 

 

─ ─摘自:《英文写作圣经《The Elements of Style》》野人出版提供@

责任编辑:黎薇

如果您有新闻线索或资料给大纪元,请进入安全投稿爆料平台。
评论