标点符号重要吗? 分享到:
Does punctuation matter? 2016-10-2830166

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  • 英语原文

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Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Alice…
大家好,欢迎收听六分钟英语,我是爱丽丝。
And I’m Neil.
我是尼尔。
So, Neil, you texted me earlier and didn’t put a full stop at the end.
尼尔,你之前给我发短信,但是最后你没有打句号。
You’re right, I never use full stops in texts – they’re much too stuffy – or formal.Texting is like conversation and you don’t need lots of punctuation.
没错,我发短信从来不打句号,不然太死板正式了。发信息就像是口头交流,你不需要那么多标点符号。
Well, punctuation is the subject of today’s show. And I know I’m a bit of a stickler about this, but I think you’re letting the standards of written English language slip.
标点符号是今天节目的主题。我对标点比较坚持,我觉得你这种做法使得书面英语标准下滑。
A stickler is someone who insists on a certain way of doing a particular thing.Surely you aren’t such a stickler for punctuation rules that you want to stop the evolution of English, Alice?
stickler 是指某人坚持做某件特殊的事。所以你也不是一个坚持标点规则,想要阻止英语进化的人了?
No, of course not, but I am a stickler when people don’t follow the rules of punctuationbecause this makes written text ambiguous or difficult to understand.
当然不是,但当人们不遵守标点规则时,我很固执,因为这使书面信息变得模棱两可,很难理解。
Ambiguous means when something has two or more meanings. Can you give me some examples of punctuation making text easier to understand?
Ambiguous是指一个事物有两种或多种含义。你能给我举几个例子证明使用标点使信息更易理解吗?
Alright then, here you are: Let’s eat Grandma.
好的,有这样一个例子:我们吃祖母吧。
Ugh! It brings to mind the children’s story Little Red Riding Hood, about a girl, her grandmother and a hungry wolf. Is that the wolf talking to another wolf friend of his?
哇,这让我想起小红帽的故事,小女孩和她的祖母,以及一只饥饿的狼的故事。这是那只狼再和另一只狼交谈吗?
No, it’s the girl, Red Riding Hood, talking to her grandmother.And with a well-placed comma it becomes: Let’s eat, Grandma.Without proper punctuation the sentence is ambiguous.Now, before we look at more reasons why punctuation is important, let’s have today’s quiz question.
不,是小红帽在和祖母说话。其间应当放置一个逗号,就变成了:我们吃饭吧,祖母。没有合适的标点,这个句子就变得有歧义了。在继续谈论标点的重要性之前,我们先回答今天的问题吧。
OK. What is another word for the keyboard sign that represents a paragraph? Is it…a) pilcrow?b) bodkin?or c) pica?
哪一个键盘符号代表一个段落?a) pilcrow(段落符号)?b) bodkin(锥子)? c) pica (十二点活字)?
I’ll say c) pica.
我选 c) pica。
Well, we‘ll find out later in the show if you got that right or wrong.
好的,之后再看你回答的是否正确。
Moving on now, punctuation was invented by the Ancient Greeks.They used a series of dots to indicate different lengths of pauses.A short unit of text was a comma, a longer unit was a colon, and a complete sentence was a periodos.We used these terms to name our punctuation marks– although they actually refer to the clauses not to the dots themselves.
我们现在继续说,标点符号是古希腊人发明的。他们用一系列原点表示不同长度的停歇。短一点的信息用逗号,长一点的用冒号,完整的句子用句号。我们用这些属于来命名我们的标点符号。尽管它们实际上是指分句,而非圆点本身。
So early punctuation wasn‘t really about grammar, then?
所以早期标点符号并不是语法方面的?
No, it was about public speaking. The different dots indicated different lengths of pauses: short, medium, and long. These pauses broke up the text so it was easier to read and therefore easier to understand.
没错,是关于口语的。不同的圆点代表不同长度的停歇:短的,中等长度的,较长的。这些停顿将信息分开,使之更容易读懂和理解。
OK, let’s hear from the punctuation expert, Keith Houston, who is author of Shady Characters: Ampersands, Interrobangs and Other Typographical Curiosities.Here he’s talking on BBC Radio 4’s programme Word of Mouth.
我们听听标点符号专家Keith Houston的观点,他是《隐晦的符号:和,疑问感叹号及其他印刷新奇符号》一书的作者。他在BBC第四套广播《口耳相传》节目做客时发表了自己的观点。
Punctuation started off being all about rhetoric – about speech– but we started to assign rules, I think around about the 8th century or so.We started to associate the marks, not just with pauses, but with the actual grammatical units that were used to punctuate.So, a comma wasn’t just a dot that meant, pause for this length of time.It now actually marked out a clause, you know, it marked out a sort of consistent logical bit of writing.
标点符号最初是关于修辞,关于口语的,我们开始制定标点规则大概是在八世纪左右。我们开始将标点与停顿联系在一起,同时还将其与实际的语法单元联系在一起。所以一个逗号不仅仅是一个代表停顿时间的圆点。它实际上是划分了一个从句,划分了一个连续的有逻辑性的句子。
So rhetoric – or the art of persuasive speaking – was very important to the Greeks and to the Romans. And to be persuasive, you need to be understood.And these little punctuation marks helped the speaker to deliver their text more effectively.
所以修辞,说服性语言的艺术,对希腊人和罗马人非常重要。要想说服别人,你得先让别人明白你的意思。这些小的标点符号帮助说话人更有效的传递信息。
Later on, these marks were given grammatical functions. The comma marks out a clause – or grammatical unit containing a subject and a verb – as well as telling the reader to pause briefly.
之后,这些标点被赋予了语法的意义。逗号划分了一个从句,即包含一个主语和一个动词的语法单元,同时告诉读者要简单地停顿一下。
Are you beginning to see why being sloppy – or careless – with punctuation isn’t a good thing, Neil?
你想要知道为什么随意乱用标点不好吗?
Yes, I am.Though recent research into texting and punctuation suggests that people consider messages ending in full stops to be less sincere than ones without.
我想知道。尽管最近对短信和标点的研究表明,人们认为信息后带有句号不太真诚。
Really? Well, now might be a good time to hear about how it can be hard to make writing unambiguous. We can misinterpret the written word, even with punctuation to guide us.Here’s Keith Houston again, talking to Michael Rosen, presenter of Word of Mouth.
真的吗?那是时候听一听标点如何难以清楚地表达信息。我们可能会曲解信息的含义,即便有标点存在。下面再听听 Keith Houston 和《口耳相传》主持人Michael Rosen 的对话。
Quite often I notice on Twitter and places like that people misunderstand irony. I mean because we only have text in front of us not intonation.So do we need an irony punctuation –hello, I’m being ironic now – do we need that?
我经常在推特或其他社交媒体上看到人门误解了反语的意思。我是指只有文字,没有语调,所以我们是不是需要一个标点表明“嗨,我在说反话”。我们需要这样吗?
You might say that emoticons are the best way to go about that – a little winking emoticon – you know, semicolon, dash, closing parenthesis.
也许表情符号是最好的表达反语的方式,一个眨眼的表情符号,由分号,破折号和右括号组成。
Oh yes, yes, of course - they’ve invented all these with the punctuation that we have on the keyboard.
没错。他们用键盘上的标点符号发明了很多表情符号。
Irony means using words to mean something that is the opposite of its literal – or most usual – meaning.But when we’re online – using email or Twitter – you don’t hear the words,and that’s why it can be hard to know what feelings the writer intended.
反语是指使用某个单词表达和其字面意思完全相反的含义。当我们上网,使用邮件或推特时,我们听不到话语,所以很难了解信息背后隐藏的情感。
That’s right. When we use emoticons – facial expressions made out of keyboard characters– we can signpost the feelings we intend.
没错。当我们使用表情符号,及用键盘上的标点组成的符号时,我们可以表现我们意欲表达的情感。
Now, Alice, remember I asked you: What is another word for the keyboard sign that represents a paragraph? Is it a) pilcrow, b) bodkin or c) pica?
好了,爱丽丝,还记得我之前问你的问题吗?键盘符号中哪一个词代表一个段落?a) pilcrow(段落符号), b) bodkin(锥子) or c) pica (十二点活字)?
Yes, I said pica.
我选的是pica。
And you were wrong, I’m afraid. The right answer is pilcrow, which comes from the Greek word paragraphos. The earliest reference of the modern pilcrow is from 1440 with the Middle English word pylcrafte.
你答错了。正确答案是pilcrow,来自希腊语paragraphos。最早指现代段落符号的是1440年的中世纪英语词汇pylcrafte。
Oh dear, sad face.I hate it when I get the quiz question wrong.Now, can we hear the words we learned today?
天啊,悲伤脸。我讨厌答错题。现在我们能听听今天学到的单词吗?
Yes, they are:
当然,分别有:
stuffy
古板的
stickler
顽固的人
rhetoric
修辞
clause
分句
sloppy
草率的
irony
反语
literal
文字的
emoticons
表情符号
Well, that’s the end of today’s 6 Minute English.Please join us again soon!
今天的六分钟英语就到这里。我们下次再会!
Bye!
再见!

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Question:
What is another word for the keyboard sign that represents a paragraph?
A  pilcrow
B  bodkin
C  pica
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