This is not academic writing 學術文章不是這麼寫的

This is not academic writing 學術文章不是這麼寫的
Not all articles written on academic topics are written in proper academic English. In this "This is not academic writing" column we examine short excerpts from academic texts to illustrate common writing errors and explain how to correct them.

Unacceptable 不被認可的文章

“To have the voices singing in counterpoint in "Eleanor Rigby" was the bright idea of George Martin, who also wrote music for the two violas, two cellos and four violins that played behind the singers. Martin was more responsible than anyone else for creating the song’s unique sound. The music producer also decided to place the recording microphones right next to the instruments so that the instruments’ harshness wouldn’t be filtered out. In another bold move, he had the musicians play their stringed instruments without vibrating the strings.”

Sloppy wording can convey the gist of a subject, but it cannot communicate with exactness. The foregoing paragraph, which analyzes the recording of a popular song, is an example of poor word choices. “The bright idea,” for example, is an inexcusably colloquial expression. “Wrote music for” is a wordy equivalent of the more concise “composed.” The listing of eight instruments can be expressed economically as an octet. To say the song has a “unique” sound seriously diminishes the restrictive nature of unique. And playing a stringed instrument “without vibrating the strings” is to not make a sound at all—surely not what a writer intends to convey. A more succinct and precise version of the paragraph appears below.
鬆散、模糊的用詞儘管仍能傳達想法,卻無法精準地與讀者溝通。本段文章討論流行歌曲的錄製,其中用詞選字有多處明顯失當。舉例而言,the bright idea太口語,實在不應出現;wrote music for太累贅,不如以精簡的composed呈現;洋洋灑灑列出八樣樂器,不如寫出八重奏octet來的簡潔;告訴讀者曲子具有獨特的聲音,詮釋的方式不當,反而無法凸顯unique本身獨一無二的意義與價值;最後,作者聲稱演奏絃樂器時,不需震動琴絃—顯然表示一聲未出—作者想傳達的本意應非如此。更簡潔、準確的寫法,刊登如下。

Acceptable 認可的文章

“The contrapuntal play of voices in "Eleanor Rigby" is attributed to George Martin, who also composed a score for the string octet that backed the singers. Martin essentially was responsible for the song’s signature sound. The gifted producer captured the raw feed of the instrumentation by placing recording microphones unusually close to the instruments and by having the musicians play their stringed instruments without undulating vibrato.”

Posted at 2011-04-28 14:51:30

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