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Register of language & speech

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Introduction

Register The chart below shows the full range of registers available to us. In the centre is the common register - the large common pool of language that we draw on for our conventional speech and writing. This is basically Anglo-Saxon in origin with some Latinate words. More specialist registers will draw on different areas of the English vocabulary - the scientific register, for instance, will contain a larger number of Latinate words. We learn to use registers as we learn to talk - by listening and imitating what we hear around us. For example, we learn to use the phrase "Good Bye" when taking leave of some people, while "See-you" or a similar phrase would be more suitable with other people. When we learn to use register what we are doing is learning to adapt the way we speak to: * the person we are addressing * the situation (or context) we find ourselves in 1) Discuss the appropriateness of the following examples, taken from Quirke's The Use of English: * Bye, Your Holiness. See-you! * Hi, John: I'm phoning to tell you your sister has croaked. * Professor Crowell, I think I understand your first two points, but could you explain that last fucker? ...read more.

Middle

'Nah, 'e's sweet. I know 'is boat. 'E's an iron I was in the shovel with.' 'Ere, you're wanted on the odie. It's that bloke 'oo 'ad 'is collar felt for a bit of Bob Hope.' 'The gevalt that bloke gets into.' Glossary Rhyming slang Other slang * battle - battle cruiser * butcher's - butcher's hook * ice-cream - ice-cream freezer * hay-stack - hay-stack * Rory - Rory O'Moore * boat - boat-race * iron - iron-hoof * shovel - shovel and pick * odie - eau de cologne * Bob Hope - Bob Hope [American comedian] * filth - police * sweet - fine, in order * 'ad' is collar felt - was arrested * gevalt - trouble (Jewish) * Translate the dialogue above, which contains Cockney rhyming and other slang, into a formal register, using Latinisms where you can (beverage rather than drink, for example). * Discuss the difference in the tone of the two pieces. * Analyse the character that has emerged through your translation. What kind of person is he? What makes you think this? * What insight has this given you into how playwrights create their characters? The literary, scientific and technical registers These two registers - scientific and technical - can be grouped together because they have a number of ...read more.

Conclusion

As Fritz Spiegl has pointed out, The journalist Liz Gill admits that the tabloids also sensationalise their stories with the help of strongly emotive language: "They tell of agony, anguish, torture, ordeals, going through hell. Events are horrifying, historic, tragic, heart-warming, shattering, staggering, amazing, scandalous, astonishing, devastating, cataclysmic, outrageous, stunning, moving, disastrous." * Over-use of such words is however counter-productive, and any power they once had to stir emotion is long gone. The same is true of the clich�d nouns and adjectives used in the tabloids' treatment of sex - tease, showgirl, dish, love-nest, romps, canoodling, dishy, saucy, sizzling, hot, cheeky, exotic, titillating. * The people who appear in the stories are similarly stereotyped by a series of clich�d adjectives, often hyphenated to compress as much as possible into a small space: any woman not actually ugly is described as attractive, raven-dark-, or blond-haired, blue- or brown-eyed, similar clich�s for men are handsome, dashing, muscular * Utterly predictable puns are another kind of clich� dear to the tabloids, however serious the subject: 'Take-away thieves last night ransacked a Chinese restaurant. 'It was a black day for coal-man Ted . . .' Teachers are caned, butchers get a roasting, maritime projects are sunk, scupper, or torpedoed. Musicians always strike notes - high, low, or sour. AS English Language - Register - 1 - ...read more.

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