Technical english fewer is better
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 26

Technical English: Fewer is better! PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 97 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Technical English: Fewer is better!. John Morris Faculty of Engineering, Mahasarakham University Computer Science/ Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Auckland. Iolanthe II leaves the Hauraki Gulf under full sail – Auckland-Tauranga Race, 2007.

Download Presentation

Technical English: Fewer is better!

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Technical english fewer is better

Technical English:Fewer is better!

John Morris

Faculty of Engineering,Mahasarakham University

Computer Science/Electrical and Computer Engineering,

The University of Auckland

Iolanthe II leaves the Hauraki Gulf under full sail –

Auckland-Tauranga Race, 2007


Goal of technical english

GOAL of TECHNICAL ENGLISH


Technical english fewer is better

Goal

  • Your goal is communication

    • Concise

    • Precise

    • Efficient

  • You are not writing

    • a novel

    • a literary masterpiece

    • haiku (日本话十七音节诗)

    • 成语

Although we aim to be concise,

We should not make our reader work hard to understand us!

Scientific writers have a clear responsibility -

To write clearly

These two literary forms try to extract maximum meaning from minimum words!

17 syllables

4 syllables!


Making your mark

Making your mark

  • Your work will be remembered for its

    • Clarity

      • Your ideas are clearly expressed

    • Conciseness

      • You have used as few words as possible

  • ‘Style’ does matter

    • But only to the extent that your work is easy to read

    • Some variation in expression and structure

      • Desirable but Not essential

  • A clear but boring article is superior to a stylish but incomprehensible one!!


English is not your first language

English is not your first language?

  • Possibly an advantage!!

  • You can write a perfectly good scientific paper using the grammar you learnt in your first few English lessons!

  • Native speakers have to study the great works of English literature

    • Shakespeare, Chaucer, Blake, …

      • These authors aim to make it hard to understand

      • They hide meaning in metaphors, allusions, ..

    • Using them as models for good technical writing is a potential disaster!!

    • Similarly, using many of the papers in the scientific literature as models is equally bad!

      • There are many very badly written published works!


Recurring theme

Recurring theme

  • Good technical English is simple!

  • Sentence structure is simple

    • You can certainly write an excellent paper with sentences with no more than two clauses each

    • It’s probably possible to write a good paper entirely in sentences with only one clause

      • Disclaimer: I have not tested this assertion!

  • Sentences are short and concise

  • Recommended:

    • Use only present and simple past tense

    • More on tenses later …


First rule

First Rule

  • Direct active sentences

    • Verbs not nouns!

  • Example:

    We made a measurement of the velocity

    • Grammatically correct, but …

    • Better

      We measured the velocity

    • Statistics

      • We said exactly the same thingbut used four words instead of seven!!


First rule direct active sentences

First Rule- Direct active sentences

  • Verbs not nouns!

  • What did we do to transform

    We made a measurement of the velocity

    to

    We measured the velocity

  • We took the noun ‘measurement’ and an auxillary verb ‘make’ and

    • Replaced both with the verb form of the noun

    • “Made a measurement”  “measured”


Active sentences

Active sentences

  • Verb is the important word

  • Remove all the meaningless verbs

  • More examples


Active sentences1

Active sentences

  • Verb is the important word

  • Remove all those meaningless verbs

  • More examples


Adjectives also

Adjectives also

  • Convert ‘is + adjective’ to a verb

    Similarly, for other feature points this constraint is also applicable.

  • is applicable applies :

    This constraint also applies to other feature points.

  • Note that I removed ‘similarly’ because ‘also’ makes it redundant


Useless words

Useless words

  • Some words you can almost always do without ….

    • Gave

    • Produced

    • Did

    • Formed

    • Used

    • Made

  • Some more that can often be removed

    • Acquire

    • Allow

  • Remove them and turn the following noun into a verb!


More examples

More examples ..

  • Most taken from real papers ….

    Relatively early, some scholars made researches on motion estimation ..

Score:

9 words 

5 words (44% less!)

Some scholars studied motion estimation …

  • I’ve removed ‘relatively early’ also because it doesn’t add much ..

  • Verb is ‘studied’ (past tense) – unless it’s really important that it was a long time ago, it probably doesn’t matter how long ago …

  • Remove irrelevant detail to keep things short!!


More examples1

More examples ..

Score:

11 words 

6 words (45% less!)

  • Most taken from real papers ….

    Although there are some related works are available in the references [15]-[23]

Although, there is additional related work [15]-[23]

  • Verb is ‘is’

  • ‘available’ is not needed: if it exists, one can assume it is available!


More examples2

More examples ..

  • Most taken from real papers ….

    In these works, local search is performed with local small search window ..

Score:

12 words 

6 words (50% less!)

We searched a small local window …

  • Verb is ‘searched’

  • I’ve removed ‘In these works’ as completely obvious and therefore redundant ..

  • It’s not necessary to repeat ‘search’ – in this context, ‘window’ is a search window …

  • Remove irrelevant detail to keep things short!!


More examples3

More examples ..

  • Most taken from real papers ….

    The sand cone test is one of the most widely used methods for determination of ..

Score:

15 words 

10 words (33% less!)

The sand cone test is widely used to determine the …

  • Verbs are ‘used’ and ‘determine’

  • I’ve removed ‘most’ as unlikely to be really necessary

    • ‘widely used’ is sufficient and safer

    • See comments about superlatives later


More examples4

More examples ..

  • Taken from real papers ….

    First, full search is done at level ..

Score:

7 words 

5 words (29% less!)

First, we searched at level …

  • Verb is ‘searched’

  • ‘done’ is rarely actually needed ..

  • Maybe the most common of the useless words!


More examples5

More examples ..

Score:

6 words 

5 words (16% less!)

  • Taken from real papers ….

    .. four-way parallel searches are employed using ....

.. a four-fold parallel search used …

  • Verb is ‘used’

  • ‘four-fold’ (= four times) is better than ‘four-way’ , but ‘four-way’ is acceptable


More examples6

More examples ..

Score:

9 words 

8 words (11% less!)

  • Taken from real papers ….

    Second, motion vector refinement at level L1 is performed ...

Second, motion vectors are refined at level L1 …

  • Verb is ‘refined’

  • ‘vector’ ‘vectors’ (proper subject of ‘refined’)


More examples7

More examples ..

  • Taken from real papers ….

    This section gives analysis on ..

Score:

5 words 

3 words (40% less!)

This section analyzes …

  • Verb is ‘analyzes’


More examples8

More examples ..

Score:

30 words 

20 words (33% less!)

The last step is to correct the pose of the scans to frontal view, which is performed by using a pose correction algorithm which was proposed in our previous work [12].

The last step correctsthe pose of the scans to frontal view using a pose correction algorithm proposed by us [12].

  • Verb is ‘corrects’

  • ‘performed’ is just not needed

  • ‘in our previous work’  ‘by us’

  • ‘previous’ not needed because ‘proposed’ is past tense


More examples9

More examples ..

Score:

14 words 

9 words (36% less) or

12 words (14% less)

  • Taken from real papers ….

    In order to support four-way parallel search, the 9x5 register array structure is employed.

The 9x5 register array structure enables four-fold parallel search.

or

We search four times in parallel using the 9x5 register array structure.

  • Verb is ‘enables’ or ‘search’

  • ‘In order to support ..’ is not needed!


More examples10

More examples ..

Score:

10 words 

10 words ()

  • Taken from real papers ….

    .. and variable block size motion estimation is not adopted here.

.. and we do not estimate motion with varying block sizes.

  • Verb is ‘estimate’

  • We didn’t achieve any word saving,but the sentence is direct .. ‘estimate’ instead of ‘estimation is adopted’


More examples11

More examples ..

Score:

75 words 

55 words (26% less)

We propose a novel histogram generation technique using the HSV color space. The histogram retains a perceptually smooth color transition that enables us to do a window-based comparison of feature vectors for the purpose of effective retrieval of similar images from very large databases. During retrieval, we use a vector cosine distance measure for the ordering of image feature vectors. This distance measure shows an improvement in the retrieval result over the traditional Euclidean distance.

This was actually an abstract for a paper:

it fails an important test for a good abstract – see later!

Our histogram generation technique using the HSV colour space retains a perceptually smooth colour transition that enables us to compare feature vectors in windows and effectively retrieve similar images from very large databases. During retrieval, we orderfeature vectors with a vector cosine distance measure. This measure retrieves results better than the traditional Euclidean distance.

  • Verbs ‘compare, retrieve, order’

  • Redundancies

    • ‘propose’ (almost all papers propose something!)

    • ‘novel’ (of course it is! Why are you publishing it if it isn’t?)

    • ‘image’ (the whole paper is about images)


More examples12

More examples ..

Score:

26 words 

17 words (34% less)

Saturation gives an idea about the depth of color and human eye is less sensitive to such a variation as compared to color or intensity variation.

Saturation indicates the depth of colour: the human eye responds to colour or intensity variations more strongly.

  • !!! ‘gives an idea about’

  • Reword to emphasize positive


Nautical english

Ocean Marina,Jomtien

Nautical English…

At sea, you can find an entirely new language!

It’s not a ‘rope’, it’s a halyard, sheet, warp, stay, line, ….

You can study this ancient language .. and have a lot of fun .. at Jomtienby the sea …

Sign up now!!


  • Login