我看過香港某些大學的碩士和博士論文撮要，其中不乏「嚇死人」的英文。其實，有些大學教授的英文也不好，但仍然有論文在學術期刊登出。何解？相信這不是個秘密吧，原來香港的大學會撥款給教授聘請專人修改論文的英文 --- 「出街」的文章見得人，並不表示教授的英文不錯。
But papers written by Philosophers can't be too bad? I can't imagine someone without a good understanding of English can excel in the department of philosophy.回覆刪除
Well, let me give you an example. The following is a passage from a published article; the author is a philosophy professor in HK (a full professor) :刪除
"The impression of the 'transcendental' sense given to people by Davidson’s principle of charity may be due to its expressing in a very general way and its seemingly a priori characteristic. However, if we pay ample attention to some of the concrete examples which are usually used by Davidson to illustrate the applicability of the principle, this impression may be diﬀerent."
This is very bad English. The first sentence is not even grammatical.
Well, he is not just a full professor, but a chair professor. But considering the fact that he was educated in Taiwan and HK and his AOS is Chinese philosophy, his poor command of English may be excusable...刪除
//his AOS is Chinese philosophy//刪除
- But he describes himself as "an analytic philosopher with special interest in Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy".
//his poor command of English may be excusable...//
- Yes, I would agree that it's understandable.
Although his first sentence is complicated, I can't see why it is not grammatical. Could you explain why please?刪除
"its expressing in a very general way" is ungrammatical because "express" is a transitive verb (i.e. it has to have an object).刪除
I think what the author means to say is that the principle of charity gives people such and such an impression because it is expressed in a very general way and because it seems to be an a priori principle. Accordingly, the object of "express" is the principle of charity, and "its expressing in a very general way" should be "its being expressed in a very general way".
I see. I had learnt the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs in secondary school, but I soon forgot.刪除
You've taught me something again, thanks Mr. Wong.