温度独家 | 谷老师文书写作方法精讲之幽默(二)

在这一期的谷老师文书写作方法精讲中,我们将继续探讨如何让文书写作不枯燥无味。

文书写作必不可少之幽默——自嘲




我们继续上一篇文章,通过一些实际案例来帮助大家在申请文书中灵活运用幽默这个技巧。


个人案例分享


下面我们通过一个申请者的个人陈述为大家进行进一步讲解。为了保持文书的完整性,我给出了个人陈述英文的全文,并在相关段落进行了详细点评。申请者提供了个人陈述的中文初稿,大致内容如下(中文译文):

我的家乡在山东聊城,一个拥有高达17万贫困人口、100万低收入人口的城市。如何给贫穷和弱势的群体同等幸福和有尊严的生活是社会面临的最严峻的考验。我愿用自己的努力给弱势群体平等生活的希望。我不做谁来做?


也许是从小受到爷爷“以天下为己任”的影响,也许是受到热爱从事慈善义工的妈妈的影响,几乎每个假期我都在参加义工活动。2008年我为汶川灾区募捐。2009年暑假,我去聊城市社会福利院做义工。我还在聊城市春雨助学协会救助贫困儿童,比如魏庄乡甘寨村的高一学生小武,母亲患有严重的糖尿病,丧失劳动能力,父亲在外打工,每个月邮寄的600元就是母子二人一个月的生活费。当我们将5000元的助学款交到小武母亲的手里时,小武的母亲当即流下了眼泪。因此,我暗暗发誓要为更多人不再愁学愁医而努力!

据我了解,美国的社会保障项目有三百多种,仅各种退休计划就有十几种之多;社会保障覆盖面广。这在中国几乎是难以想象的。相比美国专业化、体系化的社会工作服务,中国这种多数以民间自发组织的草根慈善社团不仅数量远远不够,而且因为缺乏具有专业知识的规划者和实施者,工作无法达到预期成效,而且社会公信力差。社会工作者的不足将成为制约中国社会稳定发展的一块短板。我愿意奉献于他人和社会,换回一个有价值的人生。

申请者在中文初稿中写了不少豪言壮语,如“以天下事为己任” “我愿用自己的努力,给弱势群体平等生活的希望”等,竭尽全力把自己塑造成一个忧国忧民的高大形象。但读者看完却会觉得这些都是虚浮的口号,甚至会对申请者个人陈述的可信度产生怀疑。


在英文个人陈述写作过程中,我们把这些“高大”的内容全部删除,取而代之的是平实的语言,并加入了适当的幽默元素(详见第一、二段点评)。另外需要注意的是,在描述申请者的“好人好事”时,文章不是单纯的叙述,而是侧重这些事给申请者带来的思考,从而反映出他的思考能力和社会责任感。



1

I originally came from China’s coastal province of Shandong, which is quite well known domestically as well as internationally for Tsingtao Beer, Haier electronic appliances and Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, often referred to as the sage or great teacher of moral principles and social responsibilities. What is often overlooked in the Judea-Christian dominated western world is that it was Confucius, a couple of centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, who came up with the so-called golden rule: “You should not do unto others what you do not desire yourself.” People in Shandong are generally okay with the fact that many foreigners credit the Bible, not Confucius, for the adage (格言), but they would be somewhat offended if the outside world fails to recognize that Shandong has some of the prettiest and most livable cities in China, and that the province is the economic powerhouse of China and among the most affluent Chinese provinces, with a nominal GDP well over 4 trillion yuan—about US$712 billion. 

点评这一段的幽默反映在两个方面。


第一,笔调轻松。申请者虽然表面上是在抱怨不公,但实际上是在介绍山东对世界文化和道德标准的贡献。文字的可读性要比那种忧国忧民的强多了。

第二,自嘲。文中说山东人不会介意外国人不知道自己挂在嘴上的做人标准“己所不欲勿施于人”其实是从山东“出口”的儒家思想,却会因虚荣心作祟介意外国人不知山东美丽富饶这一事实,这就是自嘲。



2

This is not the Shandong I knew intimately. The part of Shandong where I grew up, on the west side, is called Liaocheng. There, one-fifth of the population, close to a million, are categorized as either below the poverty line or low-income. And yet, for three years now, the local government has invested more than four billion yuan on a cultural preservation development project aimed to restore the central part of the city to its ancient forms. There has been no indication that the investment has benefited the local people, many of whom are desperately trying to uplift themselves out of poverty.

点评:第一段用轻松调侃的口吻提到山东如何美丽富饶,山东人如何为自己挣得了面子,而这一段笔锋一转谈到了山东贫穷落后的一面。“我”的所见所闻和“我”的生活经历让人轻松不起来。于是这和第一段形成了一个具有讽刺意义的对比(irony),而irony本身也是一种幽默。

3

My interest in the marginalized and un