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关于above的一些用法

发布:star    时间:2008-08-15 21:40:45     浏览:5270次

1. Sometime during the later part of the 19th century, a number of critics began objecting to the use of above as an adjective and as a noun, presumably on the grounds that above is an adverb. The earliest objec­tion we have found seems to have been directed at Dean Alford in the 1860s; at least in A Plea for the Queen's English (1866) he defends his use of above as an adjec­tive, saying that while it was not elegant, it was not uncommon. The critics, except for being generally unhappy about both uses, are a bit uncertain of just what is so bad. Vizetelly 1906 says that above is "inele­gantly used as a noun" but finds the adjective use more objectionable; the Heritage 1969 usage panel, on the other hand, found the adjective acceptable, but the noun unacceptable. Some commentators object that such uses of above smack too much of commercial or legal lingo; on the other hand, Whipple 1924 and other writers on business writing recommend against its use.

The issue appears to be more long-lived than substan­tial. More than a century ago, the adjective was adjudged legitimate (Bardeen. 1883); MacCracken & Sandison 1917 call both adjective and noun "allow­able," although "The most careful speakers ... prefer preceding or foregoing." Copperud's 1970 consensus finds both acceptable; Perrin & Ebbitt 1972 find them standard; Bernstein 1971 calls them "legitimate and above-board." Yet Harper 1985 and Freeman 1983 are still objecting.

Utter 1916 says that the adjectival use of above (as in "the above address") "has been idiomatic in English since Anglo-Saxon times." He does not, however, pro­vide examples. The OED shows no citation earlier than 1873, but many earlier ones, from Dickens, Thackeray, Scott, and Hawthorne, among others, have been cited by other investigators. The oldest we have found is from Campbell 1776:

Guided by the above reflections....

The adjective above is not uncommon in writers on lan­guage and usage:

The facts of the case being now sufficiently supplied by the above list —Robert Bridges, S.P.E. Tract 2, 1919

... a few remarks on some of the above words may perhaps instil caution —Fowler 1926

... for a comment on the above use of the word "claims," consult Chapter 1 —Bernstein 1958

The above discussion gives us some idea about the complexity —Braj B. Kachru, in Greenbaum 1985

Other writers also have used it:

I don't for a moment doubt that for daily purposes he feels to me as a friend—as certainly I do to him and without the above reserve —Oliver Wendell Holmes d. 193 5, letter, 12 Jan. 1921

"Fear God, Honour the Queen" ... I was brought up on the above words —Sir Bernard Law Montgom­ery, This Week Mag., 1 June 1952

The use of above as a noun is somewhat more lightly attested in our files. It too has been around at least since the 18th century; the first OED citation is dated 1779.

... the above is Theseus's opinion —William Blake, Annotations to Swedenborg's Of Heaven and Hell, 2d ed., 1784

It is not of pictures like the above that galleries, in Rome or elsewhere, are made up —Nathaniel Haw­thorne (cited in Hall 1917)

Let us pretend that the above is the original plot — Ring W. Lardner, Preface, How to Write Short Sto­ries, 1924

We judge that both adjective and noun uses of above are standard, notwithstanding the objections of a few holdouts for 19th-century opinion. Gowers's revision of Fowler 1965 sums the matter up:

There is ample authority, going back several centu­ries, for this use of a[bove] as adverb, adjective, or noun, and no solid ground for the pedantic criticism of it sometimes heard.

2. "Above should not be used for 'more than.'" This curious statement from Vizetelly 1906 may have had its origin in William Cullen Bryant's 19th-century Index Expurgatorius for the New York Evening Post, which he edited. Bryant objected to the use of either above or over in this sense. It is an odd usage for any critic to pick on; it goes back to the 16th century and has good literary credentials:

It was never acted; or, if it was, not above once — Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1601

After that, he was seen of above five hundred breth­ren at once —1 Corinthians 15:6 (AV), 1611

... added that he had not made above three or four [words] in his Dictionary —James Boswell, Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 1785

"It is above a week since I saw Miss Crawford." — Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

I know that place well, having spent six weeks there above twenty years ago —William Cowper, letter, 28 July 1784

... telling Aubrey that he cannot remember being drunk above a hundred times —Harold J. Laski, let­ter, 19 Mar. 1928

He doesn't look above forty —The Journals of Arnold Bennett, ed. Frank Swinnerton, 1954

... and it took above 10 minutes to get the police — Edward Dahlberg, Prose, Spring 1972

We have no record of the stricture on this sense of above having persisted beyond Whipple 1924; the objec­tion to over in the same sense has been longer-lived (see over).(资料出处:韦伯斯特英语用法词典)


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