根據我多年的觀察，傑出的作家有時會刻意違反既定的寫作形式，但那樣的書寫通常能讓讀者感受到其中的價值，即使他們犧牲了正確的格式。因此，除非寫作者有十足的把握，否則最好還是遵守原則。我建議寫作者等到透過指導、有能力寫出日常生活的實用英文後，再去拜讀文學大家的作品，發掘各種寫作風格的祕密。 規則十四：刪除贅字。 文章要簡潔才能有力。句子裡不該有冗詞，段落裡也不該有冗句。但這並不代表每個句子都要寫得很短，或寫作時要省略所有細節只寫綱要，而是要「字字有真意」。 左邊的常見用語都違反了這個原則，建議修改為右邊： the question as to whether →→ whether (the question whether) 是否 there is no doubt but that →→ no doubt (doubtless) 無疑 used for fuel purposes →→ used for fuel 當作燃料 he is a man who →→ he 他 in a hasty manner →→ Hastily 迅速地 this is a subject which →→ this subject 這個主題 His story is a strange one →→ His story is strange 他的故事很不尋常 特別注意，the fact that 不管出現在何處都是冗詞，必須改寫： owing to the fact that →→ since (because) 因為 in spite of the fact that →→ though (although) 儘管 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 他的失敗 the fact that I had arrived →→ my arrival 我的到來 Who is、which was 之輩通常也是冗詞。 (X) His brother, who is a member of the same firm. (O) His brother, a member of the same firm. 和他在同一家公司上班的哥哥 (X) Trafalgar, which was Nelson’s last battle. (O) Trafalgar, Nelson’s last battle. 尼爾森打的最後一場仗——特拉法加海戰 肯定敘述比否定來得簡潔；主動語態比被動來得簡潔，原則 11 和 12 中的許多例子能為本原則佐證。 另有一種常見的寫法違反簡潔原則——即把一個較複雜的概念，以一系列的句子或獨立子句逐步說明。將所有句子合併為一句會是更好的做法，例如： （錯誤的寫法）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.) 馬克白野心勃勃。這讓他想成為蘇格蘭的國王。女巫們告訴他願望會成真。當時的蘇格蘭國王是鄧肯。馬克白在妻子的慫恿下謀殺了鄧肯。他因此能夠繼承王位。(用了51個字) （建議的寫法）Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth achieved his ambition and realized the prediction of the witches by murdering Duncan and becoming king of Scotland in his place. (26 words.) 在妻子的慫恿之下，馬克白謀殺了鄧肯，繼承了蘇格蘭的王位。他成就了自己的野心，也應驗了女巫們的預言。(只用了26個字) 規則十六：把相關字詞放在一起。 字詞在句中的位置能夠表達字與字之間的關係，因此同學在寫作時應該盡量把相關的字詞放在一起，並將較不相關的字詞隔開。此外，句子的主詞和主要動詞之間，不應加入過長的片語或子句，若能將其移到句首則須為之。 （Ｘ）Wordsworth, in the fifth book of The Excursion, gives a minute description of this church. （Ｏ）In the fifth book of The Excursion, Wordsworth gives a minute description of this church. 渥茲華斯在他長詩《漫遊》的第五部中把這棟教堂描繪得鉅細靡遺。 （Ｘ）Cast iron, when treated in a Bessemer converter, is changed into steel. （Ｏ）By treatment in a Bessemer converter, cast iron is changed into steel. 鑄鐵經由貝塞麥轉爐法處理後，便煉成了鋼。 如上述兩個例子，在主詞和主要動詞之間插入的子句或片語破壞了句子的自然語序。不過兩者之間若加入關係子句或同位語並不會違反這項原則。刻意中斷句子來吊讀者胃口的掉尾句 (periodic sentence) 亦不受此原則的限制。 原則上，關係代名詞必須緊跟在先行詞後： （Ｘ）There was a look in his eye that boded mischief. （Ｏ）In his eye was a look that boded mischief. 他露出使壞的眼神。 （Ｘ）He wrote three articles about his adventures in Spain, which were published in Harper’s Magazine. （Ｏ）He published in Harper’s Magazine three articles about his adventures in Spain.
他在《哈潑雜誌》發表了三篇文章，分享他在西班牙的冒險經歷。 （Ｘ）This is a portrait of Benjamin Harrison, grandson of William Henry Harrison, who became President in 1889. （Ｏ）This is a portrait of Benjamin Harrison, grandson of William Henry Harrison. He became President in 1889. 這是威廉．亨利．哈里遜的孫子——班傑明．哈里遜的肖像，他在 1889 年成為了總統。 若先行詞由好幾個詞組成，關係代名詞應緊接在這些詞之後，若語意不清則須設法釐清。例如： The Superintendent of the Chicago Division, who 芝加哥分局局長，即…… （Ｘ）The grandson of William Henry Harrison, who （Ｏ）William Henry Harrison’s grandson, who 威廉．亨利．哈里遜的孫子，他…… （Ｘ）A proposal to amend the Sherman Act, which has been variously judged. （Ｏ）A proposal, which has been variously judged, to amend the Sherman Act. （Ｏ）A proposal to amend the much-debated Sherman Act. 一項修訂謝爾曼法案的提案，目前毀譽參半。 名詞的同位語可置於先行詞和關係代名詞之間，因這種寫法不會導致語意不清。 The Duke of York, his brother, who was regarded with hostility by the Whigs 他的弟弟，即約克公爵，受到輝格黨的仇視。 修飾語應盡量靠近被修飾語，若數個修飾語同時修飾一個詞，也應遵照此原則安排語序，以釐清修飾關係。 （Ｘ）All the members were not present. （Ｏ）Not all the members were present. 並非全員出席。 （Ｘ）He only found two mistakes. （Ｏ）He found only two mistakes. 他只找到兩處錯誤。 （Ｘ）Major R. E. Joyce will give a lecture on Tuesday evening in Bailey Hall, to which the public is invited, on ＂My Experiences in Mesopotamia＂ at eight P. M. （Ｏ）On Tuesday evening at eight P. M., Major R. E. Joyce will give in Bailey Hall a lecture on ＂My Experiences in Mesopotamia.＂ The public is invited. 閱讀完整內容