上半年改文章改得头昏脑涨，被co-author批评做的东西很好就是不懂写，于是愈发觉得写作的重要性。Tom Rawski作为系里德高望重的老教授，在他的写作课被取消了之后，固执得让系里每年在新生欢迎会上给每个人发一本The Element of Style. 但那本书实在太条条框框了，to-do和not-to-do，读到最后也不一定能记住多少。于是索然无味地放下了。On Writing Well 就不一样了，用豆友的话，这本书里，“a love and respect for the language is evident on every page.”
下面几点对我非常有启发： 1. Use active verbs unless there is no comfortable way to get around using a passive verb. The difference between an active-verb style and a passive-verb style--in clarity and vigor--is the difference between life and death for a writer. 这点和Rawski整天跟我说的一样。我一直觉得用被动语句很professional，没想到其实被诟病很多。
2. Many adverbs are unnecessary. You will clutter your sentence and annoy the reader if you choose a verb that has a specific meaning and then add an adverb that carries the same meaning.
3. Avoid "concept nouns" and try to "de-jargonize". e.g. "It no longer rains; we have precipitation activity or a thunderstorm probability situation. Please, let it rain." 用 good English, 不要觉得多加口语化的东西显得更接地气。 但其实很多时候我也想de-jargonize，但是当周围的人都在使用jargon的时候，我如何逆流而上？这么多年的训练也让我不用jargon就说不出人话了…… 看完了Zinsser的书，我明白了为什么看哈利波特看得这么快了：JK Rowling的英文写得如此之好之流畅，完全不需要我去猜测和解读。
1. Do – prune out every word that does not perform a necessary function. Strip each sentence to its cleanest components. A clear sentence is no accident.
2. Do – use the thesaurus liberally. Learn the small gradations between words that seem to be synonyms.
3. Do – try to improve the rhythm by reversing the order of a sentence, substituting a word that has freshness or oddity, and by varying the lengths of sentences.
4. Do – make your first sentence the best one – your lead must capture the reader.
5. Do – make each sentence lead into the next. Readers think linearly.
6. Do – Take special care with the last sentence in your paragraph – its the springboard to the next paragraph.
7. Do – make your paragraphs short. Readers think in segments.
8. Do – pay special attention to the last sentence. The perfect ending should take your reader slightly by surprise and yet seem exactly right.
9. Do – Read it aloud to see how it sounds and re-edit – then do it again. Clear writing is the result of lots of tinkering.
On the other hand:
1. Don’t – use passive verbs unless there is no comfortable way to use an active verb.
2. Don’t – use adverbs that convey the same meaning as your strong active verb – prune it out.
3. Don’t – use adjectives when the concept is already in your carefully chosen noun – prune it out.
4. Don’t – use small words that qualify how you feel: “a bit,” “a little,” “sort of,” and dozens more. Good writing is lean and confident.
5. Don’t – use concept nouns: Instead of – “The common reaction is incredulous laughter.” Write – “Most people just laugh with disbelief.”
6. Don’t – use the exclamation point unless you must, do use the period more frequently, don’t forget the versatile dash, and cut down on the use of semi-colons and colons. If you don’t know how to punctuate, get a grammar book.
附2：Zinsser推荐的影响美国文学的非虚构图书 （只读过Friedman的From Beirut to Jerusalem一本……还是得多读书啊！！）
David McCullough: Truman and the Path Between the Seas Robert Caro: The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York Taylor Branch: Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63 Richard Kluger: The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune Richard Rhodes: The Making of the Atomic Bomb Anthony Lukas: Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of American Families Edmund Morris: Theodore Rex Nicholas Lemann: The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it Changed America Adam Hochschild: King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa Ronal Steel: Walter Lippmann and the American Century Marion Elizabeth Rodgers: The American Iconoclast David Remnick: Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire Andrew Delbanco: Melville Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan: de Kooning: An American Master