Effective Use of Language The Importance of Language



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Formality of Language

The formality of the language one uses should match the formality of the situation and the relationship between the writer and reader. Consider the following examples.



Very Formal: Exceedingly large segments of the population are expressing their discontent with medical practitioners who appear to more engrossed in amassing financial assets than in providing efficacious care to people with health disorders.

Formal: A large number of consumers are complaining about medical doctors who are apparently more interested in making money than in provide effective health care.

Informal: A lot of people are unhappy with their doctors who only seem to care about how much money they make, and not about giving their patients good care.

Notice that any of the three examples could be effective, depending upon the reader, the writer's relationship with the reader, and the situation. Under what conditions might you want to use these different levels of formality?

Notice the difference in formality between the two words shown in pairs below. Either word might be equally appropriate, depending upon the reader and situation.

utilize
use

transpire
happen

facilitate


help

expedite
quicken

impediment
obstacle

comprehend


understand

erroneous


mistaken

exacerbate


worsen

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