What makes a bad sentence?

I have been struggling with my “Chinglish” to recognize what makes a bad sentence. Every time I write, half of the sentences are grammatically correct but are not “good” from the eyes of native speakers. It is exceedingly bad when I write scientific papers. Usually a statement about a specific discovery in physics can be quite long due to the subtle details and complex logic structure of the reasoning. But ideally, one can always break down a longwinded idea into simple and digestible pieces, each offers readers delicious and relaxing bites of the unfathomably complicated bulk of the science feast. So when I failed to write simple sentences, my desperate attempt to straighten myself out could somehow reveal my nationality! This is the power of language: how you speak/write actually affects and reflects how you think!

So in that sense, I am also asking the question: what makes a bad communicator. A sentence is bad only to the eyes of beholder who don’t understand it or appreciate the beauty of the logic. A bad communicator might have a twisted logic that seems quite natural to oneself, but appears horrendous to others. I am therefore wondering what makes me sounds like a monster to the common people?

This is fundamentally a very hard problem since nobody likes to dwell on these self-conscious thoughts. I always thought Mother Nature/God has made me into a perfect blend of genius and imperfectness which needs no more dramatic retouch to make sense.

But sometimes, as Isaiah Thomas said, one has to let go some part of oneself to truly grow into something great. So, from today on, I am embarking on this journey of letting go of my bad writing style/habit in English. I have consistently good test scores in my Chinese writings through out my school years, so there is no reason I cannot write well in another language. I hope the particular piece of gene controlling the English writing is the same as that controlling the Chinese writing. Otherwise, one could always wait for a nice mutation during my long years of life, exposed to the all-penetrating cosmic rays and X-rays from the sun, that is to come.

I will keep recording my learning and self-discoveries through this channel. But for now, back to correcting my own bad writings! Peace out.

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