幫胖胖句子瘦身,是讓英文寫作脫胎換骨的最佳方式。Say goodbye to wordiness.



gif from Giphy

當今英文寫作越來越流行的一個原則就是: Simplicity rules!也就是只用最簡單的句型與單字而且每一個句子只講一件事情,不要把所有訊息都揉成一團瞎攪和。其實無論是演講還是寫作,原則都一樣

1. be single-minded
2. say no to wordiness. 

言簡意賅,用你最有把握的字詞表達就好。

Say Goodbye to Wordiness 
來幫胖胖句瘦身吧

寫好英文作文其實比你想像得要來得簡單。第一個要戒除的壞習慣就是使用冗長的句子。一個如迷宮一樣的句子,除了文字堆疊令人不耐之外,還容易造成誤解。

中國人學英文作文,有幾個迷思。最常見的就是使用很長的句型。大多數的人心裡總是覺得,句子寫長一點,可以多填點空間,看起來好像內容比較充實些,其實真正原因是腦袋裡實在想不出要寫什麼。另外一個迷思則是,難一點、長一點的句型,或是艱澀一點的單字,才能顯示自己的英文不同凡響。

這年頭大家都忙,冗長的句子已經沒人有耐心看。當代的英文寫作,自然也向時尚靠攏。
近年來英美流行的文章風格,簡言之,就是流暢的口說風格:

Conversational style = good writing.

瞎米?這樣會不會給他太隨便了?

當然不會。各位去聽聽美國歷任總統的演講,肯定大家可以聽懂六成。現在所有的表達方式都講求簡單明瞭,曲高和寡或是賣弄文字的句子早就被踢到一邊去涼快了。不過口說或是會話形式的句子有一個缺點,那就是容易過於瑣碎。所以大家要把握一個大原則,就是簡單之外,不要瑣碎。不要把句子養胖了



之前在寫作課堂上,教練說舉過一個英文語病,那就是to reuse it again and again。這是典型的口語贅字。因為要嘛說to reuse it(已經有again的意思了), 要嘛就說to use it, again and again. 其他的贅字還有很多,如young childrento mix together,總之,大家要記得,表達的主題越單純越好,不要把訊息混在一起大鍋炒。如果句子太肥,記得給他油切一下。


肥胖英文(減肥前)
油切英文 (減肥後)
…in regard to
…about
…in the event that
…if
…a sufficient number of
…enough
…in the vicinity of
…near
…were in agreement
…agreed
…on a daily basis
…daily
…were in attendance
…attended
…on the occasion that
…when
…at this point in time
…now
…are of the believe
…believe

現在一切講求環保,所以贅字要儘量避免。現在來示範句型油切要訣
下面藍字圈出來的就是贅肉紅字瘦身後的模樣。

胖胖句
We are of the opinion that the school needs to make changes in its new policies.
油切後
We think the school should change its new policies.
胖胖句
Prior to moving to Taipei, I lived in the city of Taichung.
油切後
I lived in Taichung before moving to Taipei.
胖胖句
He enrolled in this class in view of the fact that literature is a subject in which she takes an interest.
油切後
He took this class because literature interests him.
胖胖句
The fact that she didn’t seek my advice subsequent to the class makes me feel kind of disappointed.
油切後
I feel disappointed that she didn’t seek my advice after class.  
胖胖句
There were five or six people on the committee who said that the companies who were bidding need to give a demonstration of how the new software functions.
油切後
Several committee members said the bidding companies should demonstrate the new software.
胖胖句
Some residents of the suburb of Taipei have a tendency to consider the neighborhood a noisy community
油切後
Some Taipei residents consider the neighborhood a noisy community.
胖胖句
There were 108 traffic accidents in the targeted area during the Chinese lunar new year holiday, down from 145 during the same time period last year.
油切後
During the Chinese new year holiday, the number of accidents in the targeted area fell to 108, down from 145 last year.
胖胖句
Teachers need to have the knowledge and an understanding of their students.
油切後
Teachers should know and understand their students.
胖胖句
As per our telephone conversation, enclosed please find information on a new blocking device that prevents computer hackers from gaining access to your computer equipment and records.
油切後
Here is the information on a blocking device that keeps hackers out of your computer system.
胖胖句
The true facts of the matter are that the organization has set a new record this year in receipt of a lot of cash donations.
油切後
The organization has received record cash donation this year.

上圖藍色圈出來的字就是肥肉。肥肉吃太多血管會塞住,同樣的,一個句子裡出現了兩個of(相當於中文的「」,就會讓閱讀的人感到混淆。避開of   in which 這些又臭又老梗的說法,換個簡單且直接了當的方式來表達,你的作文會脫胎換骨。句子越長,越可能犯錯,訊息的傳遞方式也更不直接俐落。艱澀的字詞,除非有把握駕馭,不然還是少用為妙。

部分資料參考來源: The Book on Writing, by Paula LaRocque

留言

  1. 報告教練,
    這個胖胖句有點性別模糊了,
    油切後的例句應該也不用讓「文學」大寫。

    胖胖句
    He enrolled in this class in view of the fact that literature is a subject in which [[she]] takes an interest.
    油切後
    He took this class because [[Literature]] interests him.

    最近因為背單字而有點苦悶,
    唯二的樂趣就是來看教練的部落格和算算數學,
    為平凡的生活增添色彩。

    回覆刪除
    回覆
    1. 另外,
      這一句的框框裡是不是應該要改用which?

      胖胖句
      There were five or six people on the committee who said that the companies [[who]] were bidding need to give a demonstration of how the new software functions.

      刪除
    2. 還有這個胖胖句從一開始到that為止,
      學生都看不太懂,
      希望教練可以撥空教我。
      As per our telephone conversation, enclosed please find information on a new blocking device that prevents computer hackers from gaining access to your computer equipment and records.

      刪除
  2. Hi Shih Hsin,

    這是英文書信的特別寫作句型啦,大意是
    誠如電話中所承諾的部分,請參閱附件提供的新blocking device資訊...後面你都會了我就不寫啦。

    回覆刪除
  3. Yes, Shin Hsing,
    應該是which,因為who refers to people.I guess it was a typo.

    回覆刪除
  4. Yes, Shih Hsing,

    Literature這個字指文學是小寫,所有學科的英文都不需要特別大寫,感謝你的指正與提醒。

    回覆刪除

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