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Thursday, July 07, 2005

ESV poll

I am a firm believer in the value of field testing, whether it is field testing of computer programs to ensure that they are working well for those who will actually use them and that they are user-friendly. Similarly, I have learned through a career in Bible translation that it is absolutely necessary to do extensive field testing to find out if our translation actually matches up with the understandings translation users get from our translation wordings.

So, I conduct polls, quite a few of them as those who visit this blog can see. My latest poll is testing whether or not your own experience of using the ESV (English Standard Version) causes you to agree or disagree with advertising for the ESV that it has "literary excellence."

If you consider there to be literary excellence throughout the ESV, as you have read and studied it, mark the "yes" circle. If you react to the ESV that it lacks literary excellence, overall, mark the "no" circle. If you have found that the ESV has literary excellence in some passages, but not in others, mark the third circle.

I am fairly sure that the webmaster who does such a wonderful job designing and maintaining ESV webpages and blog will be monitoring these poll results. He may even pass them on to the ESV translation team.

Before you vote, try to think of what literary excellence means to you. What defines literary excellence to you, as you read literature?

And then, please vote. This is an opportunity for you to give the ESV team feedback which can help them as they continue working to make the ESV a translation which is not only accurate but also a pleasant reading experience.

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At Thu Jul 07, 01:39:00 PM, Blogger Trevor Jenkins said...

Literary excellence for me means well written English. I love the works of Jane Austen and have recently discovered George Eliot's Middlemarch. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has some good paragraphs. The earlier works of modern English writer Susan Hill have literary excellence too. Then there are the plays of Harold Pinter, Christopher Marlowe, Michael Fraen. J R R Tolkien wrote great prose but perhaps a little old fashion now. Even children's authors J K Rowling and Philip Pullman can write well. (Those who know me well will realise how much it pains me to say that about Pullman.) Francis Schaeffer on occasions could write wonderful English.

Here in England we have a piece of legislation called "the description of goods act". It is an offence in law to misrepresent goods or services. The ESV compared to any of those Austen, Eliot, Hill, Pinter, even Rowling would attract a charge under that act if described as possessing "literary excellence". Leland Ryken may consider the ESV to have literary excellence but he is clearly not speaking the same language as me.

And for once I'm annoyed with your poll Wayne :-) for there is no choice that let's me express my opinion of the ESV. "No" just isn't strong enough.


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