学英语会有一个定势，那就是背很偏很难的单词。但是了解那些高级单词固然必 要，可任何一门语言中应用最广泛的还是那些简单的基础词汇。我们自己看中文的时候会很痛恨拐弯抹角不说人话的作者，英文也一样。老外自己不喜欢看故作艰深 的东西，所以我们在写作的时候就放心大胆地使用简单词汇吧，只要意思表达清楚、有条理、语法通畅就是好文章。
What is good writing?
It depends on what country youre from. We all know whats considered good writing in our own country. We grow up immersedin the cadencesand sentence structure of the language we were born into, so we think, Thats probably what every country considers good writing; they just use different words. If only! I once asked a student from Cairo, What kind of language is Arabic? She said, Its all adjectives.
这取决于你来自何处。我们都知道在自己的国家好文章是什么样的。我们从小到大，已经熟知我们 母语的抑扬顿挫和句子结构，于是我们认为，其他国家所谓的好文章也应该是这样，只不过用的语言不同。要是这样就好了！我有次问一个来自开罗的学生：阿拉 伯语是什么样的语言？她回答说：都是形容词。
Well, of course its not all adjectives, but I knew what she meant: its decorative, its ornate, its intentionally pleasing. But all those adjectives and all that decoration would be the ruin of any journalisttrying to write good English. No proverbs, please.
Spanish also comes with a heavy load of beautiful baggagethat will smotherany journalist writing in English.
English is not as musical as Spanish, or Italian, or French, or as ornamentalas Arabic, or as vibrantas some of your native languages. But Im hopelessly in love with English because its plain and its strong. It has a huge vocabulary of words that have precise shades of meaning; theres no subject, however technical or complex, that cant be made clear to any reader in good Englishif its used right. Unfortunately, there are many ways of using it wrong. Those are the damaging habits I want to warn you about today.
英语不像西班牙语、意大利 语或者法语那样富有音律美，也不像阿拉伯语那样华丽，可能也不像你们的母语那样生动鲜活，但我就是无可救药地热爱英语，因为它平实有力，拥有海量意义鲜明 的词汇。描述一样事物，不管多高科技多复杂，在标准英语中读者都看懂如果描述准确。不幸的是很多人都不能正确使用英语。以下就是我希望大家避免的一些错误习惯。
First, a little history. The English language is derived from two main sources. One is Latin, the other is Anglo-Saxon. The words derived from Latin are the enemythey will strangleand suffocate everything you write. The Anglo-Saxon words will set you free.
How do those Latin words do their strangling and suffocating? In general they are long, pompousnouns that end in -ionlike implementation and maximization and communication (five syllableslong!)or that end in -entlike development and fulfillment. Those nouns express a vague concept or an abstract idea, not a specific action that we can picture. Heres a typical sentence: Priorto the implementation of the financial enhancement. That means Before we fixed our money problems.
拉丁词语是怎么束缚你的 文体的呢？一般来说都是些长并华而不实的单词，以ion结尾，像implementation、maximization、 communication（五个音节那么长！）或者以ent结尾，像development和fulfillment。这些词语描述的都是一个模糊或抽 象的概念，不是我们能够明确说明的行动。一个典型句子就是：财政强化计划实施之前。其实就是说：解决钱的问题之前。
Believe it or not, this is the language that people in authority in America routinely use. They think those long Latin words make them sound important. It no longer rains in America; your TV weather man will tell that you were experiencing a precipitation probability situation.
Im sure all of you, newly arrived in America, have already been driven crazy trying to figure out the instructions for ordering a cell phone or connecting your computer, or applying for a bank loan or a health insurance policy, and you assume that those of us who were born here can understand this stuff. I assure you that we dont understand it either.