Diction . Literature and the choice of words. Diction. Words have three levels, and are selected based on their efficiency in these three areas:. Word choice, or general character of the language used by the author. Appearance Sound Meaning. Mono vs. Poly. 1 syllable vs. multi syllable
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Literature and the choice of words
Words have three levels, and are selected based on their efficiency in these three areas:
Word choice, or general character of the language used by the author.
Romeo and Juliet
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Romeo and Juliet
A Farewell to Arms
Objective: Impersonal and unemotional language
Example: “The lawn started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile” (The Great Gatsby, page 6).
Subjective: Personal and emotional language
Example: There was a slow, pleasant movement in the air, scarcely a wind, promising a cool, lovely day. (The Great Gatsby, page 152)
Example of Passive Diction from To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee: “John Hale Finch was ten years younger than my father” (Pg 5).Active vs. PassiveStates Action vs. States Being
Example of Abstract Diction from Picture Perfect, by Jodi Piccoult: “It was the undisguised emotion in his eyes that made Cassie put her fear aside” (Pg 341).Concrete vs. AbstractTangible, Specific vs. Conceptual Philosophical
Example of Understated Diction from Hard Times, by Charles Dickens: “He sunk into a chair and moved once all that night”(Pg 67).Hyperbole vs. UnderstatedDeliberate exaggeration of facts vs. Deliberate misinterpretation of less
Example of Pedantic Diction from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: “Madam allow me an instant. You are aware that my plan in bringing up these girls, is not to accustom them to habits of luxury and imdulgence, but to render them hardy, patient, self-denying” (Pg 64).Pedestrian vs. PedanticLayman’s terms vs. Borish inflated language intending to display importance
This is a type of non standard diction.
Vulgarity is language that is deficient in taste and refinement.
Example: “Goddamn FBI don't respect nothin’” (Sonny, in The Godfather).
From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
(statement indigenous to the English)
By Chris Foster, L.A. Times Sports Section
(A trite expression used to show how easily a task can be completed.)
This type of diction is language that is correct but conversational. It is used in casual situations, but still states accurate facts.
Example: “We’ve heard names. That’s Johnny. Those two- they’re twins, Sam ‘n Eric” (Lord of the Flies, page 21).
By Robert Frost
“Acquainted with the Night” by Robert Frost