2012-03-08 00:00:00来源:新东方网

Those long Latin usages have so infected everyday language in America that you might well think, “If that’s how people write who are running the country, that’s how I’m supposed to write.” It’s not. Let me read you two typical letters I recently received in the mail. (I keep letters like this and save them in a folder that I call “Bullshit File.”)

这些拉丁词在日常英语中的大量使用也许让你产生错觉,认为“如果统领这个国家的人是用这些词写 作的,那么我也应该这样写作。”不是这样的。我来给你们读两封此类典型的电子邮件吧。(我会保存这一类的邮件,放在一个命名为“废话”的文件夹里。)

The first one is from the president of a private club in New York. It says, “Dear member: The board of governors has spent the past year considering proactive efforts that will continue to profession alize the club and to introduce efficiencies that we will be implementing through out 2009.” That means they’re going to try to make the club run better

第一封来自纽约一家私人 俱乐部的老板:“亲爱的会员:在过去的一年里董事会一直在考虑如何做出更积极的努力以继续增强俱乐部的职能以及2009年将落实的各项便利措施。”这其实 表示说他们将努力使俱乐部运营得更好。

A letter from my investment counsel says:

我的私人投资顾问来信 说:

“As we previously communicated, we completed a systems conversion in late September. Data conversions involve extra processing and reconciliation steps.

“正如我们之前所商谈过的,我们于九月底完成了系统转换。数据转换还牵涉了额外步骤和调节措 施。

[translation: it took longer than we thought it would to make our office operate better]


We apologize if you were in convenienced as we completed the verification process.

如果在核准系统期间您感 到不方便,我们对此致以歉意。

[we hope we've got it right now]

翻译:我们希望现在一切 正常。

Further enhancements will be introduced in the next calendar quarter.


[we're still working on it]. ”


Notice those horrible long Latin words:


mmunicated, conversion, reconciliation, enhancements, verification.

商谈,转换,调节,改进, 核准。

So if those are the bad nouns, what are the good nouns? The good nouns are the thousands of short, simple, infinitely old Anglo-Saxon nouns that express the fundamentalsof everyday life: house, home, child, chair, bread, milk, sea, sky, earth, field, grass, road … words that are in our bones, words that resonatewith the oldest truths. Don’t try to find a noun that you think sounds more impressive or “literary.” Short Anglo-Saxon nouns are your second-best tools as a journalist writing in English.

如果这些都是不合适的词语,那么哪些才是合适的词呢?就是能够表达基本日常生活的几千个简短而 古老的安格鲁-撒克逊名词:房子,家庭,孩子,椅子,面包,牛奶,大海,天空,大地,田野,小草,马路……这些我们铭记于心、回响着古老真理的词。不要试 图找一个你觉得更让人印象深刻或更“文学”的词。短小的安格鲁-撒克逊词是你在进行新闻写作时第二位的好帮手。

What are your best tools? Your best tools are short, plain Anglo-Saxon verbs. I mean active verbs, not passive verbs. If you could write an article using only active verbs, your article would automatically have clarity and warmth and vigor.

你最好的帮手又是什么呢?简短平易的安格鲁-撒克逊动词。我说的是主动态动词,不是被动态。 如果你能写一篇全用主动态的文章,那肯定是一篇清晰、亲切又有力的好文章。

One of my favorite writers is Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau’s writing moves with simple strength because he uses one active verb after another to push his meaning along. Here’s a famous sentence from him:

Henry David Thoreau是我最喜欢的作家之一。Thoreau的文笔简洁而遒劲,因为他总是使用主动态来传情达意。下面是他写的一个很有名的句子:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of nature, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

我去森林是因为我希望在 思考中生活,只面对最真实的自然本质。我想看我是不是能学到自然教与我的东西,不希望在我临死时发现自己从未真正活过。

Now let me turn that sentence into the passive:


A decision was made to go to the woods because of a desire for a deliberate existence and for exposureto only the essential facts of life, and for possible instruction in its educational elements, and because of a concern that at the time of my death the absence of a meaningful prior experience would be apprehended.








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