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

“The youngish design team began the project with the cocky attitude of industrial designers who’ve done it before. The future car was assembled only in their minds, but they knew what they wanted. Studying the computer picture of a bare chassis, the young designers began to make some very critical choices. With the click of a mouse, the bolted subframes were neatly fused to the main chassis in a true all-in-one package that makes the rattles go away and the chassis more rigid. The team leader looked around the room for any objection to his design change and didn’t find any, just nods of agreement.”

There is no shortage of improvements to be made with this passage. The first sentence alone contains three shortcomings: 1) “Youngish” doesn’t tell us if the team is actually young or just younger than some other teams; 2) “cocky attitude” overstates the case and is pure slang; and 3) “who’ve” is a contraction, which is unacceptable. In the next sentence, now the designers are described as “young.” They also make “very critical” choices. The “very” is superfluous; “critical” is sufficient description. The subframes were “neatly” fused, which either means some welding work is not neat, or that the writer is being wordy. I suspect it is the latter.
這段文章該改進的地方還不少,第一句話就有三個缺點:1) “Youngish”(年輕的)不知道是說設計團隊實際上年齡很輕,或只是比其他團隊年輕;2) “cocky attitude”(趾高氣揚的態度)略嫌誇大,而且表達也太俚俗;3) 用 “who’ve” 縮寫也不恰當。到了下一句話,設計師又成為 “young”(年輕的)了,他們還下 “very critical”(極為關鍵)的決定,其實 “very” 是多餘的,用 “critical” 形容就夠了。形容副車架焊接 “neatly”(工整),也許表示有些焊接做得不夠工整,也可能是作者太囉嗦;我認為應該是後者。

Acceptable 認可的文章

“The youthful design team settled into the project with the serene confidence of more veteran industrial designers. The future car was only envisioned at this point, but they knew what they wanted. As they studied the computerized rendition of a bare chassis, the novice designers began to make critical choices. With a mouse click, the bolted subframes were fused to the main chassis in a true monocoque configuration that reduces rattles and reinforces the rigidity of the chassis. The team leader looked around the room for any objection and found none.”

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