题目 Contest Sentence:
“By the end of the session, it was clear the speaker was a radical fanatic about neo-socialism and unlikely to cool down his ardor any time soon.”
正确解答 Answer: We believe the best revision is… “By the end of the session, it was clear the speaker was fanatical about neo-socialism and unlikely to cool his ardor any time soon.”
This suggested revision reduces the word count to 24 from 27. It does so by addressing two sets of redundant phrases. One is “radical fanatic.” Every fanatic is, by definition, radical inasmuch as fanaticism is characterized by extreme enthusiasm and intense emotions. These are not middling conditions. They do not describe, in this case, a moderate neo-socialist. Therefore, by dropping “a radical” and turning the noun “fanatic” into the adjective “fanatical,” the sentence is slimmed and strengthened.
依照建议修改，处理两组多余的词句后，句子的字数从 27 降至 24 个字。一个多余的词组是 “radical fanatic”（激进的狂热分子）。狂热就是极端的热情与强烈的情绪，没有中庸之道，所以每个狂热分子原本就是激进份子，在此不会有「温和」的新社会主义。因此，删去 “a radical”，将名词 “fanatic” 改成形容词 “fanatical”，能让句子更加简洁有力。
The sentence contains a second redundancy in the phrase “cool down.” The word “cool” originally referred to temperature, not social status. When temperatures drop, they cool. The direction of the change—down—is understood. By the same token , one does not “heat up” the water; heating it down is impossible. Therefore, it can be said the speaker was not expected to “cool his ardor.” Eliminating “down” not only reduces the word count, it raises the reader's regard for the writer.
第二个多余的词句是 “cool down”，“cool” 这个字原本与社会地位无关，而是表示温度冷却，单 “cool” 一字就能表现温度是下降的。同理，将水加温时不说 “heat up” 而说 “heat”，因为加热不可能还让温度下降。因此，写成 “cool his ardor”（热情冷却）就可以了，删去 “down” 不仅能减少字数，读者也更能看出作者的文笔。
We get caught up in redundancies in our conversations and colloquial writing. That's because casual communication permits more emotional content. Academic writers are supposed to be disciplined in their formal expression. They are expected to avoid use of redundant clichés like “past experience” and such regrettable outbursts as “extraordinarily awesome.” While there always is a place for modifiers to clarify and emphasize, use of adjectives and adverbs should be carefully restricted—and never wasted on redundancies.
一般对话与口语写作往往充斥多余的词句，因为轻松的沟通带有较多情感交流成分，写作学术文章则应该有组织、符合标准，不要用“past experience”（过去的经验）等陈腔赘词，也要避免不假思索的写出“extraordinarily awesome”（超棒）等糟糕的词句。即使能用修饰语厘清或强调语意，仍应慎用形容词和副词，切勿让词句显得冗赘。