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49. Formulate the difference of formal and informal vocabulary.

By the sphere of communication we mean the circumstances attending the process of speech in each particular case: professional communication, a lecture, an informal talk, a formal letter, a speech in court, etc. All these circumstances or situations can be roughly classified into two types: formal (a lecture, a speech in court, an official letter, professional communication) and informal (an informal talk, an intimate letter).

Formal style or formal vocabulary is used to cover varieties of English vocabulary that occur in books and magazines, that we hear from a lecture, a public speaker, a radio announcer or possibly in official talk. These types of communication are characterised as monologues addressed by one person to many, and often prepared in advance. Words are used with precision, the vocabulary is elaborate.

Informal style or informal vocabulary is used in personal two-way everyday communication. It is in the form of dialogue where the speaker has the qualities of voice, gesture, the speaker has an opportunity to know whether he is understood, the listener can always interrupt him and demand additional information. The vocabulary may be determined socially or regionally(dialect). Informal vocabulary is used in one’s immediate circle: family, relatives or friends. Informal style is relaxed, free and easy, familiar and unpretentious. The choice of words is determined in each particular case not only by an informal (or formal) situation, but also by the speaker’s educational and cultural background, age group and his occupational and regional characteristics.

50. Analyze the types of slang and compare with jargons.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines slang as “language of a highly colloquial style, considered as below the level of standard educated speech and consisting either new words or of current words employed in some special sense”. Slang, informal, non-standard words and phrases, generally shorter lived than the expressions of ordinary colloquial speech, and typically formed by creative, often witty juxtapositions of words or images. Slang can be contrasted with jargon (technical language of occupational or other groups) and with argot or cant (secret vocabulary of underworld groups), but borderlines separating these categories from slang are greatly blurred, and some writers use the terms cant, argot and jargon in a general way to include all the foregoing meanings. Slang tends to originate in subcultures within a society. Occupational groups (F: loggers, police, medical professionals and computer specialists) are prominent originators of both jargon and slang; other groups creating slang include the armed forces, teenagers, racial minorities, ghetto residents, labor unions, citizens-band radiobroadcasters, sports groups, drug addicts, criminals and even religious denominations. In addition to occupational and professional groups, there are many other types of subcultures that supply slang. These include sexual deviants, narcotic addicts, ghetto groups, institutional populations, agricultural subsocieties, political organizations, the armed forces, Gypsies, and sports groups of many varieties. Some of the most fruitful sources of slang are the subcultures of professional criminals who have migrated to the New World since the 16th century. In some cases slang may provide a needed name for an object or actionor it may offer an emotional outlet or a satirical or patronizing reference. It may provide euphemisms and it may allow its user to create a shock effect by using a pungent slang expression in an unexpected context. Slang has provided myriad synonyms for parts of the body, for food, for drunkenness. Slang words are expressive, mostly ironical words serving to create fresh names for some things that are frequent topics of discourse. They sound somewhat vulgar, cynical and harsh. This is not surprising, for slang words and idioms are short-lived and very soon either disappear or lose their peculiar colouring and become either colloquial or stylistically neutral lexical units. Most slang words are metaphors. The circle of users of slang is more narrow than that of colloquialisms. It is mainly used by the young and uneducated. Slang’s colourful and humorous quality makes it catching, so a considerable part of slang may become accepted by nearly all the groups of speakers. Slang words are clearly motivated. The lexical meaning of a slang word contains not only the denotational component but also an emotive component (most often it expresses irony) and all the other possible types of connotation – it is expressive, evaluatory and stylistically coloured and is the marked member of a stylistic opposition. Some of these are the employment of metaphor, simile, folk etymology, distortion of sounds in words, generalization, specialization, clipping, the use of acronyms, elevation and degeneration, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, borrowings from foreign languages, and the play of euphemism against taboo.

According to sphere of usage slangs are subdivided into general and special slang.

General slang includes words that are not specific for any social or professional group. Special slang is peculiar for some such group: teenager slang, university slang, football slang.

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