Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Elements of Style 札记一

I. Elementary Rules of Usage

1. 单数名词所有格加上's。
不管单词末尾的辅音是什么。所以要写:Charles's friend。例外是一些古人的以 -es-is 结尾的名字,和所有格 Jesus',以及诸如 for conscience' sakefor righteousness' sake 等形式。不过,Moses' LawsIsis' temple 通常替换为 the laws of Mosesthe temple of Isis

2. 在三项或三项以上的词语和一个连接词组成的序列中,每项词语后面都要加上逗号,除了最后一项。
如:red, white, and blue。
但在列举公司名称的场合中,最后一个逗号也常省略:Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette。

3. 用逗号将插入语隔开。
The best way to see a country, unless you are pressed for time, is to travel on foot.

In 1769, when Napoleon was born, Corsica had but recently been acquired by France.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

4. 在引导独立从句的连接词前加上逗号。
The early records of the city have disappeared, and the story of its first years can no longer be reconstructed.

常见的连接词有 andbutas(表因为)、forornorwhile(表同时)。注意,当两个从句的主语一致时,如果连接词是 but,那么就需要逗号,引导的从句的主语可省略。如果连接词是 and,且两个从句的关系紧密,逗号和引导从句的主语都可略去。
I have heard the news, but am still unconvinced.
He has had several years' experience and is thoroughly competent.

5. 不要仅用逗号连接独立从句。
Mary Shelley's works are entertaining; they are full of engaging ideas.
Mary Shelley's works are entertaining, for they are full of engaging ideas.

而如果引导第二句的是诸如 accordinglybesidesthentherefore 或者 thus 之类的副词,依然需要分号。
I had never been in the place before; besides, it was dark as a tomb.

Man proposes, God disposes.

6. 不要把一个句子拆成两个。
Again and again he called out. No replay.


7. 在独立从句后用冒号引导一系列小品词,同位语,修饰语,或是阐述性的引用。
Your dedicated whittler requires three props: a knife, a piece of wood, and a back porch.
But even so, there was a directness and dispatch about animal burial: there was no stopover in the undertaker's foul parlor, no wreath or spray.
The squalor of the streets reminded her of a line from Oscar Wilde: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

8. 用破折号引导一个突然的中断或插入以宣告一个长的同位语或总结文字。
His first thought on getting out of bed – if he had any thought at all – was to get back in again.
The increasing reluctance of the sun to rise, the extra nip in the breeze, the patter of shed leaves dropping – all the evidences of fall drifting into winter were clearer each day.

9. 主语的数决定了动词的数。
The bittersweet flavor of youth – its trials, its joys, its adventures, its challenges – is soon forgotten.

在“one of …”后面的定语从句动词的数取决于关系词的数:one of the ablest scientists who have attacked this problem。

None 后面一般用单数,除非指代许多人:None are fallible as those who are sure they're right.

The long and the short of it is …
Bread and butter was all she served.
Give and take is essential to a happy household.
Every window, picture, and mirror was smashed.

Politics is an art, not a science.

10. 正确使用代词的格。
Virgil Soames is the candidate who we think will win.
Virgil Soames is the candidate whom we hope to elect.

Mother objected to our driving on the icy roads.
They heard him singing in the shower.

Do you mind me asking a question?
Do you mind my asking a question?
第一句的宾语是 me,第二句是 asking a question

11. 句首的分词短语必须指代语法的主语。
Wondering irresolutely what to do next, the clock struck twelve.

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