谷老师文书精讲系列 | 摆事实方能讲道理 (二)

在谷老师文书精讲系列 (一)中,我谈到了如何在Essay写作中实践运用“摆事实”的前两点,今天给大家分析下第三点——切忌浮夸。


既然是摆事实,那就要用事实说话,不要在语言上进行过多不必要的雕琢或粉饰。真实的事件本身就蕴含着一种打动人心的力量,这种力量不需要通过华丽的词藻来表现。比如,上文所举的例文中提到“My grandfather smiled and said to me”,这句话里只用一个简单词汇smile就把爷爷亲切的形象表现了出来。有些同学却喜欢把自己说成a person who is dedicated to helping the poor、an angel或knight(把自己比作天使和劫富济贫的骑士),这样的描写效果会大打折扣。


实例讲解

下面我们通过对一篇Essay例文的分析,在实战中了解如何运用摆事实的写作方法。

原稿:My Knightly Life


My family has a proud tradition of rewarding the good and punishing the wrong. As the general manager in a state-owned enterprise, my grandpa has spent his life helping employees to live more prosperous lives. My father is the President of the XXX Bank in Qinhai Province, one of the poorest in China. He devotes himself to helping lift poor families out of poverty. God knows what I am going to do in the future, but I hope I can influence others in an equally positive way.


During high school, I met several “backward students” who often skipped classes. We were all fond of playing basketball. My teacher started worrying because I was now hanging out with “bandits.” Rumors spread. The teacher summoned my father to school and reported my “devastating and crucial changes.” Fortunately, my dad and I had a man-to-man conversation. I told him how these kids often played basketball and chatted about their experiences outside school. For example, Hanyang often worked and carried things on his motorbike for his father, and Futaobought a mobile phone for his mother. (批注:这里与“我”被人说是坏孩子或后文“我”和父亲准备帮助他有什么关系?没有交代清楚前后联系,缺少细节描写。) Moreover, they could not choose their current lives; they were not born in families full of love or money. In the end, my father and I decided we would help them one-by-one. Yangli asked, “What can we do? We don’t have any degree or skill.” I said, “My father works in the bank. Can you count? Can you keep records?” He asked, “Do they require any degree?” I said, “No, the only requirement is working hard. It’s better than sitting idle.” They took my advice and worked on the service staff in the bank.


After a few months, Hanyang said, “I have a long way to go before becoming a formal employee.” He plucked up his courage to go back to high school and then entered Beijing Information Science and Technology University.


Trust me! This isn’t a fairytale. What I said is true. (批注:此地无银三百两!如果是真实的故事,不必说“我没编造故事”“我没骗人”这类话。) After I entered senior high school, everyone pursued their own goals. Gaoyun went to the military academy; Zhaochi went to XXX University to study oil painting; Futao is now a project manager in the bank and earns 8000 RMB per month. Chuanmin majored in medicine and works in the radiology department at XXX Union Medical College Hospital, and Zhaohan went to the forestry bureau. Lilei didn’t find a job fitting his major, but went to the Traffic Police Brigade.


Dad told me how, owing to my insistence, he had the chance to affect these people’s lives. They had become inspiring stories, instead of the opposite.


I am happy and proud to walk on my own path, even though I may be misunderstood and suspected by the others. (批注:“我”想要表达的是别人误以为自己和坏孩子厮混也变坏了,而英文表达的实际意思却是说人们可能不相信“我”的故事。) I will insist on treating every one with a fair attitude, and lending them a hand when they need.  


点评:

这篇文章的问题比较大。首先,第一段谈到父亲做好人好事时,并没有举出具体事例,划线部分的表达都显得比较浮夸。其次,在举自己和父亲帮助同学的具体事例时,最后的帮助的结果不能令人信服。倒数第二、三段划线部分所列出的都是“坏学生”们后来的出色表现,但这很难证明都是作者和父亲的帮助的结果。再次,作者写帮助他人就业这样的例子也难让人信服。针对以上问题,我们做如下修改。

修改稿:


I consider myself a basketball buff. I watch quite a lot of American NBA basketball and CBA, the Chinese version of NBA, on TV. Not only do I watch the games, I spend much of my leisure time playing on the court too. Then came the final year of my middle school. All of my regular teammates stopped showing up on the court because they were simply too busy preparing for high school qualifying exam to play. I was, of course, under much pressure myself, like everyone else. A good exam result meant a good high school; a mediocre score meant a mediocre school to match. Much was at stake. However, I loved basketball so much I still found time to play, this time with a bunch of guys who were not as interested in academics and who were said to have skipped classes before.


Some of my teachers started worrying about me. They summoned my father to school to let him know that I was hanging out with problem kids. When my father returned home that day, he wanted to talk to me. Knowing the purpose of his visit to the school, I half expected him to lash out at me for befriending those bad guys. To my surprise, he was not angry at me at all. He wanted to hear my side of the story. So, I told him about what I knew of Hanyang and Futao, and a couple of others. Hanyang’s parents were divorced, that I knew; Futao’s father had lost his job; one guy was considering quitting school to earn money to support his ailing parents. They all seemed to me to be normal kids, except that they were poor; some were desperately poor. My father thought for a moment, then proceeded to say that he was okay with me playing basketball with them and that he and I should think of ways to help these kids.


In the days and weeks that followed, my dad and I did come up with a plan. We suggested some different part-time jobs to Hanyang and Futao, which they accepted, and we paid the medical bills for the other. I count my blessings often: my father is a successful, albeit very busy man; he allows me to make judgment calls and trusts that I will make them to the best of my ability; he is a generous person who cares deeply about those who are less fortunate.


My basketball friends and I have moved on to different places, but we still keep in touch. I know Futao is now a full time project manager of a local bank: the same bank my dad and I got him a part-time position in; Hanyang is currently a freshman at XXX Information Science and Technology University. Sadly, it is now next to impossible to get together to play basketball again, but whenever we get on the phone we talk about it all the time.