发布时间: 2017-12-14 09:34   来源: 北外网院
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1.Don't Use Adverbs


The adverb is not your friend. Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They’re the ones that usually end in -ly. With adverbs, the writer usually tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly, that he or she is not getting the point or the picture across.



There are numerous usage "rules" regarding the placement of adverbs in prose: one shouldn't split a compound verb or infinitive with them (so no "to boldly go" or "must be heartily congratulated");

关于在散文中放置有太多的用法规则了:我们不应该让副词出现在复合动词或动词不定式中,因而我们不能说"to boldly go"或"must be heartily congratulated"。

One must place them closest to the word they are modifying (so no "Quickly the news anchor corrected himself"; go with "The news anchor quickly corrected himself");

我们必须要把它放在离其所要修饰的词最近的地方(所以我们不能说"Quickly the news anchor corrected himself",而应该是"The news anchor quickly corrected himself")。

One shouldn't start a sentence with them, especially if the adverb in question is hopefully;


One should know when to use a flat adverb (like quick in "move quick" and safe in "drive safe") and when to use an inflected -ly adverb (like "quickly move aside" and "safely drive the truck");

我们应当知道什么时候用单纯形副词(像是 “move quick”中的“quick”,“drive safe”中的“safe”)什么时候用加ly的副词(像是"quickly move aside"中的“quickly”和"safely drive the truck"中的“safely”)

2. Never Use the Passive Voice


Never use the passive where you can use the active.


English verbs have two voices: active and passive. We use the active voice in sentences like this one, and it shows who is doing the acting (we are) and what is being acted on (the active voice). But the passive voice is often used in more formal sentences, like this one, where the actor—here, the invisible writer of this sentence, who is the one using the passive voice—is hidden from view. Here are a few examples of sentences written in the active voice and then recast in the passive voice:


The teacher told us to use the active voice. vs We were told to use the active voice.

老师告诉我们要使用主动语态 vs 我们被老师告知要使用主动语态。

The police questioned the suspect. vs The suspect was questioned.

警察询问了嫌疑人 vs 嫌疑人被警察询问了。

I made a mistake. vs Mistakes were made.

我犯了错误 vs 错误被犯了

You'll notice that the passive voice seems to distance an action from its perpetrator, or it makes the thing being acted on ("we," "the suspect," and "mistakes" above) more important than the doer. For this reason, the passive voice is very common in more formal writing, where the authors want to keep the perpetrator of the action or the speaker distant.


3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.

3.永远不要用除了 “said” 的动词来进行对话

The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated," and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

对话的范畴属于人物,动词是作者非常关心的。但是,“said” 这词远远不及嘟囔,喘息,警告,撒谎等词更具侵入性。我曾经注意到玛丽•麦卡锡用“她郑重地声明”来结束了一个对话,那时我不得不停止阅读去查了字典。

This is a rule that is often repeated, something that is supposedly the province of "showing, not telling." But this is less a rule of writing and more of a personal preference of Leonard's.


Of course, lots of these non-said dialogue markers are almost as old as said itself is. Check your dictionary and you’ll see that dialogue verbs like crow, yell, whisper, and groan are contemporaries of said and had ample use in Old English as well as in Modern English.


4.Omit Needless Words


Along with advice about the passive voice and keeping your writing in the same verb tense is this often-quoted axiom: omit needless words.


The question is, of course, what’s a needless word and who gets to say? Take this paragraph:


Sitting beside the road, watching the wagon mount the hill toward her, Lena thinks, “I have come from Alabama: a fur piece. All the way from Alabama a-walking. A fur piece.” Thinking although I have not been quite a month on the road I am already in Mississippi, further from home than I have ever been before. I am now further from Doane’s Mill than I have been since I was twelve years old.


If we have words in our language (and our dictionaries), then it is because they are needful, not needless. And though we tend to focus on the meaning of words, we can’t deny that they can have extra-semantic uses.


5.Avoid Colloquial Language


Slang is everywhere. When we use it in everyday life to communicate with friends informally, it’s usually fine. In fact, sounding too formal around our friends is kinda weird. Slang, or colloquial language—to use the formal term—is not appropriate in academic writing and many professional communication situations.


Some writing teachers tell their students to avoid certain classes of words: slang, jargon, new words whose meaning isn’t apparent. The idea behind this is that you don’t want the words you use to snag the audience’s attention and detract from the point you’re making. This is a guideline that many of us learn as we go through school, where most of our writing is more formal and academic, and it’s a good guideline to follow in academic and formal writing.


But context is everything. Sometimes writers and editors will forget that not all writing is academic writing, and they’ll expand on the rule a bit to say that one shouldn’t use words that aren’t entered into a dictionary (regardless of what one is writing).


Dictionaries follow the language. A new word appears; people begin to use that word more and more; it shows up consistently in edited prose; we eventually enter it into the dictionary. If writers are supposed to avoid words that aren’t entered into the dictionary, then the whole process falls apart at the third step.


In short, keep your audience in mind, but certainly use words that aren’t in the dictionary. We like reading them as much as we like collecting them.

















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