题目 Contest Sentence:
“For more than three decades, the U.S. space shuttle program gave American astronauts and scientists a reliable vehicle for conducting orbital explorations.”
正确解答 Answer: We believe the best revision is…We believe the best revision is… “For 30 years, the U.S. space shuttle program gave American astronauts and scientists a reliable vehicle for conducting orbital explorations.”
我们相信最佳写法应为We believe the best revision is… “For 30 years, the U.S. space shuttle program gave American astronauts and scientists a reliable vehicle for conducting orbital explorations.”
This suggested revision reduces the word count to 20 from 22, which doesn't seem like much perhaps. However, it also reduces the character count to 120 from 133, which is nearly 10 percent lower. A 10 percent shorter paper is measurably and significantly more concise. While the worth of a paper is not measured in total characters or pages or pounds, neither is it characterized by verbosity, long words, or imprecise language. Brevity, in the end, is mostly measured in the satisfaction of reader and writer .
照着建议修改片语措辞后，字数由 22 个字降为 20 个字，看来或许不多，但字母数从 133 降为 120，减少将近百分之十。文章字数减少百分之十，显然更为简洁。虽然文章好坏不能从总字母数、页数或书本重量衡量，但冗长、用字多而不精确，无法成就一篇好文章。用字是否简洁，多半可从读者与作者是否满意文章看出来。
The sentence as originally written is accurate. To be exact, space shuttles roared into space for three decades, two months and 26 days, the last flight occurring in July of this year. Yet in the context of this sentence, such detail would serve no purpose. It is accurate enough to stipulate that the shuttles flew “for 30 years.” One of the judgments academic writers must make on every page of every paper they write is how to balance the amount of detail with the pace and flow of the narrative .
The other element in precise phrasing is research. Research adds to knowledge of a subject and knowledge contributes to brevity. Were a paper referring to economic activity in Zhuhai, there would be no benefit in writing “on the southern coast of China north of Macau… ” when research produces a pinpoint reference—“in Zhuhai” or “in Guangdong Province.” Imprecise phrases often are the result of inadequate or lazy research, which an alert professor will quickly pick up on and mark down.