1210 TPS One Word Away From Confusion Contest-Answer and Explanation你能找出混淆字嗎? 正確解答!

Correct best answer: Replace “stooped” with “stopped.”

“When the class lecturer stopped in midsentence and began to gather her papers, we all looked at one another and shook our heads at her slavish regard for the clock.”

It is possible that the lecturer in question indeed “stooped” to gather her papers, but then she might have done so and continued to lecture. One action doesn’t preclude the other. That she notably did something “in midsentence” suggests it was more dramatic than just move. Quitting talking in midsentence is a far more startling turn of events. The writer might have intended to show the lecturer did both—stopped and stooped—but neglected to write that she did. This might also be a simple spelling error. In any event, the choice of words interrupts the flow of the sentence and confuses the picture. That surely was not the intent of the writer.

Last Update at 2012-12-11 AM 10:49 | 0 Comments

1210 TPS One Word Away From Confusion Contest-Win Your NTD200 7-11/Starbucks Prize! 你能找出混淆字嗎? 有機會獲得200元7-11/星巴克咖啡禮券!

Every word is important in a well-written academic paper. Changing just a word or two can turn a clear sentence into a confusing one. Tell us what word you would change in the following puzzling sentence to render it more meaningful. The first best answer will receive a NTD200 7-11/Starbucks Gift Certificate.

題目Contest Sentence:
“When the class lecturer stooped in midsentence and began to gather her papers, we all looked at one another and shook our heads at her slavish regard for the clock.”

Last Update at 2012-12-11 AM 10:48 | 0 Comments

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. This column examines short excerpts from academic texts to illustrate common writing errors and to explain how to correct them.

Unacceptable 不被認可的文章

“Historic records show the hurricane pounded ashore nearly 200 miles further south than forecast, catching businesspeople unawares. Naked plate glass windows shattered when struck by 70 mph winds and airborne projectiles. Flying shards sliced into boxes and stuck in walls and display cabinets. Torrents whipped through the windows and ruined inventory and marketing materials. As in every catastrophe, irony showed its face. The owner of a store selling paper was relieved to find his windows unbroken, yet water ran out the door when he opened it: The violent storm had triggered the store’s sprinkler system and flooded the inside of the building.

The writer is guilty of questionable word choices and assumptions. The very first word in the excerpt is wrong. The records are not “historic,’’ that is, momentous in and of themselves; they are “historical,” meaning they contain history. “Further” does not specifically mean distance (it can also mean time), but “farther” does and would have been a better choice in this sentence. “Naked” plate glass windows? That is a stretch, when the intent of the usage is to show they are unprotected. “Flying shards” could mean shards of wood or brittle plastic; it should have been modified to mean broken glass. The same is true of “torrents” without the words “of water.” In short, the writer reached for brevity and sacrificed clarity in the doing, a bad bargain.
作者在文字的選擇和使用上犯了幾個錯誤,特別是節錄段落的第一個字就是錯的。記錄不該是「historic」;這裡應該將重點放在記錄本身,使用「historical」,表示這些記錄包括過去發生的事件。「Further」並不單指距離上的差異(這個詞也能用在時間上),但是「farther」卻僅能用於實際距離上。因此,這裡比較適合用「farther」這個字。另外,什麼是「naked」玻璃窗?作者應該是想要表示窗戶暴露在外未受到保護,卻誤用錯字。「Flying shards」可能是木頭或塑膠碎片,所以將這個部分加以改寫,強調是碎玻璃。同樣的情形也發生在「torrent」上,少了「of water」。總之,作者為了達到文章簡練而犧牲了文意清晰,可謂得不償失。

Acceptable 認可的文章

“Historical records show the hurricane surged ashore nearly 200 miles farther south than forecast, catching businesspeople unprepared. Unprotected plate glass windows shattered under the force of 70 mph winds and airborne projectiles. Flying shards of glass sliced into boxes and embedded themselves in walls and display cabinets. Torrents of rain whipped through the window openings and ruined inventory and marketing materials. As in every catastrophe, irony showed up. The owner of a paper goods store was relieved to find his windows intact, yet water ran out the door when he opened it: The storm had triggered the sprinkler system and flooded the building.

Last Update at 2012-12-07 PM 1:44 | 0 Comments

6 Essential Rules for Persuasive Writing # 4 – Give proximate support to key points 發揮寫作說服力的六大準則之四:盡力支持文章論點

不管是自己選擇或教授指定,若要寫作論說式學術文章,必須先做好心理準備。你必須說明個人意見,選定觀點也很重要,結構與表達尤其攸關文章成敗。本專欄介紹六大關鍵準則,讓你寫作時發揮說服力,每項準則都會刊登在 TPS 粉絲專頁,並在最後集結於 TPS 學術電子報。
Whether by choice or assignment, when an argumentative academic paper is the task at hand, the writer must approach it with an appropriate mindset. Subjective values come into play. Point of view becomes important. Organization and presentation become even more critical to success. The elements of successful persuasive writing are explained in this series, “6 Essential Rules for Persuasive Writing.” Each of the rules will be presented on the TPS Fan page before being compiled.

Rule # 4 – Give proximate support to key points

Persuasion is not a function of volume. That is, he who speaks the loudest is not necessarily the most persuasive. While a loud would-be persuader commands attention, he does not usually command respect. Nor does his noise penetrate much beyond the ears to the heart and mind of those listening. In persuasive writing, the same principles apply: Success comes not in what you say, or how “loudly” or strenuously you say it; it comes in effectively supporting what you say.

A fundamental principle to follow in writing a persuasive paper is to support essential points in proximity to the points. What too often happens is that a writer makes a point and then pivots away to declare another truth, eager to reveal his full argument without interruption. Yet writers don’t have to worry about being interrupted. They need only hold a reader’s attention. When they spin away too fast, even to a parallel thought, they forfeit the chance to make a point indelible.

It makes great sense sometimes to summarize the various points of an argument right up front, and then to summarize them again near the end. Yet in the body of the paper, the significant points stand along and each should be buttressed with evidence of its correctness. Often the weakest point needs the most supporting evidence to offset its intrinsic weakness. By supporting each point immediately after making it, readers will more likely be persuaded, one point at a time.

Last Update at 2012-12-07 PM 1:42 | 0 Comments

1203 TPS Finish the Sentence Contest-Answer and Explanation你是接龍的高手嗎? 正確解答!

Answer: We believe the sentence is best completed this way:

“In the season’s sudden chill, the tin-paneled roof creaked like crackling vertebrae as the metal pieces contracted and snuggled up for the winter.”

Buildings, especially old buildings, react to cold and hot seasons like people do. They shiver and shrink, or sigh and relax as parts tighten or loosen when the metallurgy in the buildings reacts to temperature change. Couching the metal’s contraction in human terms, the action is compared to pieces that have “snuggled up for the winter.” In the same way, the writer describes the creaking of the roof panels in terms of the human backbone, comparing the occasional eruption of creaking to the sound of a backbone “crackling.” This effectively describes the muted noise. Giving inanimate objects human characteristics enlivens a subject by inviting a reader to identify with it.

Last Update at 2012-12-04 AM 11:52 | 0 Comments

1203 TPS Finish the Sentence Contest-Win Your NTD200 Eslite Bookstore and Shopping Mall Gift Certificate! 你是接龍的高手嗎? 有機會獲得200元誠品圖書商場購物禮卷!

怎麼寫出好句子沒有標準答案,不過起碼我們知道,優秀的句子每個環節都很完美。下面有一句未完成的句子,請用五個字以內完成句子接龍,寫出完整的句子。最先完成句子,並寫出最佳解答的一位TPS 粉絲,將獲得兩百元誠品圖書商場購物禮卷;另增設特別獎一名,頒給符合文意又別具創意的粉絲。接龍解答與獲獎粉絲姓名將在明天公布於本 TPS 專頁,敬請密切鎖定、先睹為快!
No formula exists for the writing of a superior sentence, but this much is known: The best sentence has no weak part. The following sentence is incomplete. In five or fewer words, complete the sentence in a way that strengthens the whole of it. The first TPS Fan to complete the sentence as we believe it is best completed will win a NTD200 Eslite Bookstore and Shopping Mall Gift Certificate. Another Eslite certificate will be awarded to the first Fan to complete it in an alternate way that, in our estimation, also is effective. The explanation and the names of the winners will be published tomorrow on this TPS Fans page.

題目Contest Sentence:

“In the season’s sudden chill, the old, tin-paneled roof creaked like __ __ __ __ as the metal pieces contracted and snuggled up for the winter.”

Last Update at 2012-12-04 AM 11:50 | 0 Comments

What does that mean? 你真的瞭解這個慣用語嗎?

Imagery buries itself in language and takes on new meaning. The transplanted and transformed word or set of words is called a “figure of speech.” For a figure of speech to be effective, however, a writer must first understand the original meaning of the word or phrase. The following sentence contains a common figure of speech. Its original meaning is explained.

“The branch’s grip on the river oak leaves was loosened by wind gusts, and first one, then 100, then 500 cartwheeled through the sky to smother the ground.”

Cartwheels are relatively tall, slender wheels with long, slender spokes emanating from the axle. When a cart moves forward, the wheels turned and the spokes rotated with increasing speed as the cart moved faster. This motion of revolving spokes is replicated by the arms and legs of children and acrobats who move laterally by alternately standing on their feet and then their hands and then their feet and so on. The circular sweep of the extended arms and legs catches the eye, just as the spokes of a wheel do, with the center part of the torso functioning as an axle.

By saying that the leaves “cartwheeled” to the ground, carried along by gusts of wind, the writer calls upon the image of spinning wheels (and similarly spinning acrobats). Many leaves float gently, rocking slightly from side to side, when they ride a gentle breeze to the turf below, a movement commonly described as “fluttering.” But when the leaves are yanked from a branch by a more violent wind, they often are seen spinning end over end, the stem acting like a single axle in its rotation. Choosing descriptive words carefully separates spirited writers from ho-hum ones.

Last Update at 2012-11-30 PM 12:59 | 0 Comments

Professor Pedantic 教授的考究學問

The professor awaits your query on academic writing, though in all honesty, he doesn’t have a lot of time for you. He is a tenured full professor and working on yet another magnificent academic tome. Even so, he has graciously consented to entertain your question. Submit it and prepare to be edified.

QUESTION: In writing papers on psychology, I often have to use terminology that is culturally exclusive. An English translation often does not convey the nuances of a Chinese term. How can I best translate smoothly across cultural boundaries without loss of meaning?

Being bilingual is a wonderful asset for a writer or anyone else. The door to the world is opened just a little wider for a person conversant in two languages. However, along with the benefits of knowing two or more languages come the frustrations of translating obscure meanings from one language to another. In conversations, help from a conversation partner and hand gestures generally can bridge the obstacles. But in an academic paper, none of those solutions is available. Therefore, the writer is given the wonderful challenge of communicating the incommunicable.

This is especially the case when a word or phrase defines a cultural concept that is without its equal in a second culture. It is difficult enough when a base word in two languages has different meanings; it is much more difficult when a word in one language has no peer in a second. It is like building a bridge across a chasm with no access point on the other side. Still, engineers overcome such quandaries and so must writers. Once an incompatibility of terms is recognized, an academic writer has no other choice but to expand his capacity as a researcher and wordsmith.

First, the writer should thoroughly research the culturally unique term in question. Then words that definitively describe the term should be written down. These are the building blocks to communicate the term, piece by piece, to the new language. If a concept is particularly abstract, it can be described in terms of something similar and identifiable, using modifiers to explain any distinguishing features. If there is a term in a third language that bridges the gap, use it, again with modifiers as needed. Academic writers, like all writers, must develop their powers of description.

Last Update at 2012-11-30 PM 12:57 | 0 Comments

1126 TPS Verbalize Contest-Answer and Explanation你能找出關鍵的動詞嗎? 正確解答!

Suggested answer: “Penelope felt perturbed when she opened the assignment folder and learned that the professor had completely rejected her premise.”

The relationship between a student and a professor can sometimes be prickly. Often it is the fault of the professor when a nurturing relationship has failed to develop, but students also can be off-putting. Such failure to connect might explain the surprise Penelope experienced when she discovered her suggestion had been totally dismissed. She was “perturbed,” which is to say the rejection not only upset her, it worried her. Cultivating an open and healthy relationship is a plus, and to Penelope it appeared she and the instructor were seriously out of sync. Other acceptable “p” words in this instance include pressured, paralyzed, peeved, maybe even parboiled. But “perturbed” captures all the dissonance a person feels in such a tense situation.
教授和學生的關係有時不容易處理,建立關係時如果發展不順利,通常是教授的問題,但有時學生也會令人反感。本句中,或許就是因為師生交流不順利,所以 Penelop 發現教授完全拒絕她的提議時,才會這麼驚訝,覺得「perturbed」(心煩意亂);這表示遭到否決讓她心煩又心慌。培養光明正大的良好關係對兩人都有好處,但看來 Penelope 和指導教授兩人關係非常不和睦。本句還可以填入其他「p」開頭的詞,例如 pressured(感到壓力)、paralyzed(全身無力)、peeved(氣惱),甚至 parboiled(煎熬),不過還是「perturbed」最能表達人在這種緊張關係下感受到的不融洽。

Last Update at 2012-11-30 PM 12:55 | 0 Comments

1126 TPS Verbalize Contest-Win Your NTD200 7-11/Starbucks Prize! 你能找出關鍵的動詞嗎?有機會獲得200元 7-11/星巴克咖啡禮券!

The sentence below is missing a verb. However, the first letter of the verb is provided. Insert a word that starts with the given first letter and best fits the tenor of the sentence, and then defend your word choice in five or fewer words. The first TPS Fan to respond with the judge’s choice of verb—or the most effective alternate verb— will win a ¬¬¬NTD 200 Starbucks Gift Certificate. The name of the winner will be published tomorrow on this TPS Fans page. Good luck!
以下句子缺少動詞,請加入一個最符合句子意思且符合空格開頭字母的動詞,以及五個字以內的理由,我們將提供7-11/星巴克咖啡禮券兩百元,頒給第一位想出最佳解答或是最佳替代字的第1位粉絲。解答與獲獎粉絲姓名將在明天公布於本 TPS 專頁。請將答案寫在下方,幸運兒可能就是你!

題目Contest Sentence:

“Penelope felt p_______ when she opened the assignment folder and learned that the professor had completely rejected her premise.”

Last Update at 2012-11-30 PM 12:53 | 0 Comments