Presentation on theme: "Using Formal and Informal Language Appropriately"— Presentation transcript:
1 Using Formal and Informal Language Appropriately
2 Everyday life is not like a Grey Poupon Commercial… Most of us remember the Grey Poupon commercials of the 90’s where a man in a limousine is asked for some fancy mustard and replies, “But, of course!” We all inherently know why the commercials are amusing, but we probably haven’t taken the time to actually analyze the reasoning.
3 Art Imitates LifeIn the example of the Grey Poupon commercial, the language of the perceived wealthy man with the fancy mustard is formal in tone, indicating a certain class difference marked by education level, therefore, marketing the mustard toward people of more “sophisticated” tastes.In writing, formal and informal language work in a similar way… to influence tone, which, in turn, speaks to your audience.
4 ToneTone is defined as the writer’s attitude toward the subject matter and his or her readers.
5 AudienceThe audience is your reader or listener– the recipient of your verbal or written communication.
6 Diction Diction is word choice Word choice is important in establishing toneThree levels of diction:1. high or formal diction2. neutral diction3. informal or low diction
7 Characteristic of Formal and Informal Language seriousobjectiveimpersonalreasonedcontrolledreservedInformallighthumorouspersonalcasualoffhanded"loose"plainspokensimple
8 Why does it even matter?Official or serious situations are often signaled by the use of formal language, while ordinary or relaxed situations are signaled by the use of informal language.Formality of language varies in relation to such factors as public versus private occasion, the size of the audience, the relationship of the speaker/writer with the audience, and so on. The ability to vary your language according to the situation is often considered a mark of an educated person.
10 What makes INFORMAL language? Simple grammatical structurePersonal evaluationColloquial or slang vocabulary
11 What makes FORMAL language? Formal language, even when spoken, is often associated with the conventions expected of written standard English.Although you generally don’t worry as much about formality in speaking, it is extremely important in writing because of the knowledge you are recording through the written word.Continued on next slide…
12 What makes formal language (continued)? Remember… when you are speaking, writing or analyzing language in a formal situation…What makes formal language (continued)?Formal language does not use contractionsAvoids personal pronouns such as: you, I, us, me, and weIncludes more polysyllabic words—BIGGER wordsComplex, complete sentencesAvoidance of colloquial or slang vocabularyImpersonalityA consistent preference for “learned” words
13 What to avoid in formal writing… Remember… when you are speaking, writing or analyzing language in a formal situation…What to avoid in formal writing…Exclamation marksNeedless words like “well” and “you know”First and second person point of viewBeginning sentences with coordinating conjunctionsToo many short, choppy sentences that could be combined to make more complex sentence structures
14 What to avoid in formal writing… Avoid most shortenings in formal writing. In formal English, you talk on the “telephone,” not the “phone”Know what acronyms may be used in your writing. In formal English, you should limit your use of acronyms, abbreviations making use of letters that stand for certain wordsSimilarly, limit your use of absolute terms, such as "everybody," "always," "never"Avoid cliché’s, stage directions and colloquialisms
15 Common Colloquialisms and Informal Words A lot, alotAin'tAlright, all rightAnywaysAnybody, anyoneAsBig, large greatBuyContraptionCould of, would of, should ofCuteFellowFor sureGet, obtainGet, understandGonna, wannaGotHow comeHow do you doHumongousKid
16 Common Colloquialisms and Informal Words Continued Kinda, kind of, sorta, sort ofLetLikeMostOn the other handPrettyReal, reallyShall, will, should, wouldSoThus, thuslyUntil, till, ‘tilUseUse toYeah
17 Formal or Informal?After reading The Red Badge of Courage, it is easy for you to see Crane’s purpose in telling the story.
18 Formal or Informal?Native American literature is rich in cultural information and poetic language.
19 Formal or Informal?Native American literature isn’t rich in Puritain characteristics.
20 Formal or Informal?Native American Literature is oral. It is passed down by word of mouth.
21 Formal or Informal?Everybody knows that Snickers is the best candy bar.
22 Formal or Informal?The field trip participants will meet at the A-Town Wal-Mart.
23 References“Formal/informal language.” 15 October <http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/SESLL/EngLang/LILT/forminf.htm>.“How to Avoid Colloquial (Informal) Writing.” October <http://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page>.“Tone: A Matter of Attitude.” Capital Community College October <http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/tone.htm>.