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总统圣经语言


2.2.1 The Elegant Style and Old words

Its elegant style includes two aspects: one is that it has a lot of old words, the other one is that it has a lot of old style structures. The Holy Bible has reserved a large number of Hebrew and Latin words, especially names and address, for example, Mēch ?ed ē, King of Sā ěn, Bāk, Esǎ... There are also a large number of old and mediaeval English words and forms, for example: thou = you, ye = you (the plural form of thou), thy = your (singular form), thine = your (the plural form of thy and be put before vowel), art = are, canst = can (singular form and present tense), hast = have (singular form and present tense for the second address), hath = have (singular form and present tense for the third address). If the verb is under the third address, singular form and present tense, it should be added “(e)th” to the end. For example, God said, let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over…every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth—from Genesis. If the verb is under the second address, it should be added “(e)st” to the end. For example, But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because thou defend them—from Psalm5

2.2.2 Sentence Structure

As for the old structure, before the 14th century, there was only one negative structure. That is “verb + not”. Compared with it, modern English has two types of negative structures: one is “be/ modal verb + not” and the other is “auxiliary verb + not + verb”. That old negative structure can be easily found in the Bible. For example, And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him.
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Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. (—from Genesis) Let burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire, into deep pits, that the rise not up again. (—from Psalms) And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor him reverence then was Haman full of wrath. (—from Esther) American presidents imitate the Bible to use old English and old negative sentence pattern. For example, in the inaugural address of Eisenhower in 1953, he used “Thou” instead of “you”, “Thy glory” instead of “your glory”. Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete… …so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen. In Jimmy Carter’s address 1977, he quoted from prophet Micah: He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. (Micah 6:8) As for the old negative sentence, it can be easily found in their addresses. For examples, Kennedy said “ask not what American will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” Johnson said in 1965 in his address, “Our fate as a nation and our future as a people rest not upon one citizen, but upon all citizens”. Nixon said “Our destiny lies not in the stars 第三,有些美国总统在自己就职演说中某些地方,还使用了《圣经》式的语言,这在肯尼迪的 就职演说中表现得尤为突出。 (1)And yet the same revo lutionary belief for which our forbears fought is still at issue around the globe,the belief that the rights of m an come not from the generosity of the stage but for the hand of God.……

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(3)To strengthen its shield of the new and the weak and to enlarge the area in which its w rit may run. (4)And so,my fellow Americans ask not what your country can do for you… 《圣经》式的语言简洁明了,却又庄重典雅,有其独特的风格。这主要表现在:轻重音节的均 匀分布,对称结构较多。它还倾向于采用古老的否定形式“动词+not”,而不用助动词进行否 定,这些特点在以上的这些例句中都有所表现。 在就职演说中使用《圣经》式的语言能使该处的语言显得庄重,而得以突出强调。而且,这些 《圣经》 式的语言还能使演说具有布道般的效果,似乎演说者在传达上帝的旨意,有助于使演 说具有鼓动性。

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