Diction Powerpoint
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Diction Powerpoint






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Diction Powerpoint Diction Powerpoint Presentation Transcript

  • DICTION: The Choice of Words
    • finding the exact word that produces
    • the exact effect that a writer intends.
    What are you trying to do? What is your purpose?
  • The Three Qualities of effective diction
    • Appropriateness
    • Specificity
    • imagery
    View slide
  • appropriateness
    • When writers care about Who will be reading their words and how the reader may react
    • (when writers write for someone other than themselves)
    View slide
  • Language formality scale Learned popular colloquial slang Most formal Least formal
  • The basic elements of everyday communication
    • popular
    • (common to the speech of the educated and the uneducated alike)
    • Agree -------------------------------------
    • Begin --------------------------------------
    • Clear -------------------------------------
    • Disagree --------------------------------
    • End- ---------------------------------------
    • Help ---------------------------------------
    • Make easy- ----------------------------
    • Secret -----------------------------------
    • Think ------------------------------------
    • Wordy ----------------------------------
    • Learned
    • (used more widely by the educated and in more formal occasions)
    • Concur --------------------------------------
    • Commence ---------------------------------
    • Lucid -------------------------------------------
    • Remonstrate ----------------------------
    • Terminate ---------------------------------
    • Succor ---------------------------------------
    • Facilitate ----------------------------------
    • Esoteric -------------------------------------
    • Cogitate ------------------------------------
    • Verbose --------------------------------------
  • colloquialisms
    • Writing as friendly conversation
    • Highly informal
    • What audience is appropriate for using such diction?
    • Examples:
    • Any Contractions, any shortened words, “kind of”, “like”, “mad” (angry), “yeah”, “Sure” (certainly), “it’s me”
  • Slang
    • Least formal—its use is determined by the audience/occasion
    • Satisfies a desire for novelty of expression
    • Used by everyone at one time or another
    • Shifting the diction to slang may create a humorous effect or the impression of a lack of control over the writing (usually the latter)
  • specificity
    • Specific words refer to uniquely individual persons, events, or objects
    • Concrete specific words attract our senses
    • Abstract specific words relate to concepts that are mostly inferred
  • imagery
    • One meaning of this term suggests the pictures (images) that occur in our minds when specific diction is employed
    • In another sense, imagery refers to tropes.
  • Revising diction
    • What is your purpose?
    • Who is your audience?
    • Does the diction used consider each of the above?
  • Revising diction vagueness triteness jargon Ineffective imagery Watch for
  • Ineffective imagery
    • Test every metaphor, every figure of speech by seeing the image—if no image appears in your mind—well…
    • Mixed metaphors confuse the mental image:
    • “ The bill is mainly a stew of spending on existing programs, whatever their warts may be.” ( New York Times)
    • “ So now what we are dealing with is the rubber meeting the road, and instead of biting the bullet on these issues, we just want to punt.” (Chicago Tribune)
    • “ This is awfully weak tea to hang your hat on.”
    • (New York times)
    • “ the moment that you walk into the bowels of the armpit of the cesspool of crime, you immediately cringe.” ( Our town , New York)
  • jargon
    • The specialized language of a particular group or profession
    • Characteristics of jargon include:
    • 1. abstract, technical words (learned instead of popular)
    • 2. excessive use of the passive voice
    • 3. wordiness
  • Examples of Jargon
    • Computer field : RAM, backup, lol, gr8, gb
    • Military : awol, sop, ied
    • Law enforcement : apb, csi, perp, clean skin
    • Common examples : poker face, ufo, shrink, ballpark figure, on cloud nine
  • vagueness
    • Similar to ambiguity, a word is vague when, in context, it conveys more than one meaning
    • Vague words belong to a group called “utility words”
    • specify, name, clarify the general
  • Triteness
    • Once upon a time a metaphor was new, fresh, colorful, and apt!
    • Used countless times over the years by everyone, the sheen is dulled.
    • The crack of dawn—do your own thing—crystal clear—good as gold—sly as a fox—lost in thought—commune with nature—it remains to be seen—it is what it is—don’t go there—diamond in the rough
  • END