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吹毛求疵的意思(一场吹毛求疵的完美爱情)

吹毛求疵的意思

金风玉露一相逢,便胜却人间无数。
Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss… But every
once in a while you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do,
nothing will ever compare. (斯人若彩虹,遇上方知有。)
有时,那些“奇怪”的人看似会很难遇到爱情;可他们一旦遇到合适的人,就会绚丽异常。

你矫情,我喜欢

Amy到普林斯顿大学进行为期三个月的研究,Sheldon留守。两人Skype时,Amy说自己真正开始思念Sheldon是因为身边没有像他一样纠正她的语法错误的人。
真是一把“奇奇怪怪”味儿的狗粮,吃得我一脸满足。他们让我想起杨绛和钱钟书。两个人“拌嘴”是竟是因为对法语“bon”的发音有分歧;杨绛说钱钟书的发音带有乡音,而钱钟书不服。他们甚至找来了同船的一个法国夫人做“裁判”。

我一边感慨“学者CP”的恩爱方式果然清新脱俗,一边开始研究,Amy到底犯了怎样的语法错误。句子以介词结尾。End sentences with prepositions.
Earlier today I end a sentence with a preposition.

在我初中学“李雷与韩梅梅”时,英语老师讲授的众多语法原则之一就是“不要把介词放在句末”(另一个有意思的是“不要把but放在句子开头”)。可是介词为什么不能放在句末,我却一直不太了解。

一句妙语
据传言,丘吉尔曾经说过这样一句的话,攻击这条语言法则。【你能对你写的东西负责吗?你能吗?】
Ending a sentence with a prepostion is something up with which I will not put.

读着费劲是句子语序所导致的。若改写为:Ending a sentence with a preposition is something which I will not put up with,则豁然开朗。Put
up with作为一个动词词组表示“容忍、忍受”,由于遵循“介词不能放句末”的原则而被硬生生拆成完全不能make sense的up with
which I will not put。此处是实实在在的反讽——行,我不把介词放最后,写出来的是这种谁都看不懂的玩意儿。

Zinsser在写作圣经(on Writing Well)的Usage中也特意提到了“介词结尾”的问题,他说人们开始越来越多使用介词作为句子结尾,这说明“严谨”的语法规则限制不住人们寻求更舒适的说话方式。Zinsser认为“句子以介词结尾”是完全可以被接受的。
The
growing acceptance of the split infinitive, or the preposition at the
end of a sentence, proves that formal syntax can’t hold the fort forever
against a speaker’s more comfortable way of getting the same thing
said—and it shouldn’t. I think a sentence is a fine thing to put a preposition at the end of.

我年轻的时候学语法,是一条一条背语法知识,然后一道一道做单选题;被“固定搭配”和“习惯用法”糊弄久了,觉得有问题也不会再问为什么。语言是动态的,在不断发展和变化,一味默守陈规伤害的是语言的vigor
and strength。就像塞缪尔(Smeuel Johnson)所说,“the pen must at length comply
with the tongue”,谁知道今天的spoken garbage 会不会成为明天的written gold呢?

前世今生

再回到“句子能否以介词结尾”的问题上,为什么会有这个原则?一般什么情况下我们会这样用?什么时候不会呢?
首先,这条语法规则来自于拉丁语。拉丁语中坚决不把介词放在句末,三四百年前受拉丁文语法影响较大的以John Dryden为主的一些学者,在英文中也严格遵循这一原则。但他们忽略了英文中有很多动词与介词组合成的短语,若将其分开就会导致非常荒谬的语言现象(参照据传的丘吉尔名言)。

But
here’s the problem. Neither Dryden nor the grammarians who promoted his
views envisioned the extent to which many of the most commonly used
prepositions–or, to, in, about, over, of, etc.–would hook up
with verbs to become common idioms. Nor did they take into account the awkwardness that results when you run one of these verb-preposition
idioms through the never-end-a-sentence-with-a-preposition wringer.
然后,我在牛津词典里也发现了对这种“awkwardness”的批判,并总结出了4种常以介词做句子结尾的情况。
There are times when it would be rather awkward to organize a sentence in a way that would avoid doing this.
1. 被动语态 Passive Structures
A: The dress had not even been paid for.
B: Paid for the dress had not even been.
我们对比A和B,会发现A更好理解,B则有些“扭曲”。下组同理。
A: She enjoys being fussed over.
B: Being fussed over she enjoys. 
2. 关系从句 Relative Clauses

A: They must be convinced of the commitment that they are taking on.
B: They must be convinced of the commitment on which they are taking.
3.不定式 Infinitive Structures

A: Martin persuaded Lucy that there was nothing to be frightened of.
B: Martin persuaded Lucy that there was nothing of which to be fright ened. (over-formal)
4. 特殊疑问句 questions beginning with who, where, what, etc

A: Who were you talking to?
B: To whom were you talking? (over-formal)

最后,我发现有很多著名作家在该问题上多发表过见解。乔治奥威尔等均认为“介词悬空”并不会产生ill effect。

Well-established and famous writers over the years, such as George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Julian Barnes, have been blithely stranding
their prepositions to no ill effect.
(http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/grammar-myths-prepositions/)
所以,掌握了相当程度的语法知识,阅读过足够多的原版内容,在合适的场合中,想用可以大胆用。

爱你,用我的方式

一个“处处被刁难”的Amy。一个顽固不化的Sheldon。可为何我尝到的除了甜还是甜?
Amy在started to miss you中插入了副词really,分裂不定式严格来讲也是“语法错误”哦。我们当然可以找到无数证据论述证明“不定式可以被分裂”,但难得的是,Sheldon坚持,Amy欣赏——这就是他们的平衡点。
就这样,他们在吹毛求疵中找到了属于彼此的完美爱情。

最后的最后

今天的这篇文章是对于6月13日那篇的更新,我改正了一些错误,并在内容上有删减。再次为上次所犯的常识性错误道歉,并践行Zinsser倡导的rewriting, reshaping and refining。
得知明天就是四六级考试的日子了,遥祝所有考生朋友成功与四六级分手,然后继续认真学英语。:)

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