strong writing: seven goals of language.

March 19, 2008

跟老板讨教怎么写好文章,他给我推荐个mit教授Steven L. Kleiman的文章:Writing a Math Phase Two Paper。这个title的来源是mit的一个课程要求,让学生练习写文章,从phase one到phase two。事实证明这个文章实在不错,简单,明了,重点明确,一目了然。特别是其中说到这个七条,我觉得可以背诵,经常提醒自己:

There are two primary goals, precision and clarity, and five secondary goals, familiarity, forthrightness, conciseness, fluidity, and imagery.

老板也提到Knuth那个著名的booklet,他的原话差不多是:对于一个叫做How to write mathematics的书,你多半指望它本身写得不坏,可这个书的来源是Knuth教的一门课,由学生笔记什么的拼凑而成,所以……

昨天偶然在Dr. Z的opinions page上看见

Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art.
— Charles McCabe



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