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Diction Powerpoint

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Diction Powerpoint

  1. 1. DICTION: The Choice of Words
  2. 2. <ul><li>finding the exact word that produces </li></ul><ul><li>the exact effect that a writer intends. </li></ul>What are you trying to do? What is your purpose?
  3. 3. The Three Qualities of effective diction <ul><li>Appropriateness </li></ul><ul><li>Specificity </li></ul><ul><li>imagery </li></ul>
  4. 4. appropriateness <ul><li>When writers care about Who will be reading their words and how the reader may react </li></ul><ul><li>(when writers write for someone other than themselves) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Language formality scale Learned popular colloquial slang Most formal Least formal
  6. 6. The basic elements of everyday communication <ul><li>popular </li></ul><ul><li>(common to the speech of the educated and the uneducated alike) </li></ul><ul><li>Agree ------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Begin -------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Clear ------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Disagree -------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>End- --------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Help --------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Make easy- ---------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Secret ----------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Think ------------------------------------ </li></ul><ul><li>Wordy ---------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Learned </li></ul><ul><li>(used more widely by the educated and in more formal occasions) </li></ul><ul><li>Concur -------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Commence --------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Lucid ------------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Remonstrate ---------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Terminate --------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Succor --------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate ---------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Esoteric ------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Cogitate ------------------------------------ </li></ul><ul><li>Verbose -------------------------------------- </li></ul>
  7. 7. colloquialisms <ul><li>Writing as friendly conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Highly informal </li></ul><ul><li>What audience is appropriate for using such diction? </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Any Contractions, any shortened words, “kind of”, “like”, “mad” (angry), “yeah”, “Sure” (certainly), “it’s me” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Slang <ul><li>Least formal—its use is determined by the audience/occasion </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfies a desire for novelty of expression </li></ul><ul><li>Used by everyone at one time or another </li></ul><ul><li>Shifting the diction to slang may create a humorous effect or the impression of a lack of control over the writing (usually the latter) </li></ul>
  9. 9. specificity <ul><li>Specific words refer to uniquely individual persons, events, or objects </li></ul><ul><li>Concrete specific words attract our senses </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract specific words relate to concepts that are mostly inferred </li></ul>
  10. 10. imagery <ul><li>One meaning of this term suggests the pictures (images) that occur in our minds when specific diction is employed </li></ul><ul><li>In another sense, imagery refers to tropes. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Revising diction <ul><li>What is your purpose? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is your audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the diction used consider each of the above? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Revising diction vagueness triteness jargon Ineffective imagery Watch for
  13. 13. Ineffective imagery <ul><li>Test every metaphor, every figure of speech by seeing the image—if no image appears in your mind—well… </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed metaphors confuse the mental image: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The bill is mainly a stew of spending on existing programs, whatever their warts may be.” ( New York Times) </li></ul><ul><li>“ 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) </li></ul><ul><li>“ This is awfully weak tea to hang your hat on.” </li></ul><ul><li>(New York times) </li></ul><ul><li>“ the moment that you walk into the bowels of the armpit of the cesspool of crime, you immediately cringe.” ( Our town , New York) </li></ul>
  14. 14. jargon <ul><li>The specialized language of a particular group or profession </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of jargon include: </li></ul><ul><li>1. abstract, technical words (learned instead of popular) </li></ul><ul><li>2. excessive use of the passive voice </li></ul><ul><li>3. wordiness </li></ul>
  15. 15. Examples of Jargon <ul><li>Computer field : RAM, backup, lol, gr8, gb </li></ul><ul><li>Military : awol, sop, ied </li></ul><ul><li>Law enforcement : apb, csi, perp, clean skin </li></ul><ul><li>Common examples : poker face, ufo, shrink, ballpark figure, on cloud nine </li></ul>
  16. 16. vagueness <ul><li>Similar to ambiguity, a word is vague when, in context, it conveys more than one meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Vague words belong to a group called “utility words” </li></ul><ul><li>specify, name, clarify the general </li></ul>
  17. 17. Triteness <ul><li>Once upon a time a metaphor was new, fresh, colorful, and apt! </li></ul><ul><li>Used countless times over the years by everyone, the sheen is dulled. </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  18. 18. END

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