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NOTES ON STYLE
A.The terms style, stylisticare generally used in two different meanings. In lexicology the term functional style is used which may be defined as a system of expressive means peculiar to a specific sphere of communication. Otherwise speaking, the choice of words and of modes of expression depends on the situation in which the process of communication is realized, whether it is a friendly talk, an official letter or report, a poem, a scientific article, etc. According to the situation (or the sphere of communication) we may distinguish formal (bookish, learned) and informal (colloquial) words. The former are peculiar to fiction, scientific prose, lectures, official talks; the latter are used in everyday talks with friends and relatives. One should also keep ip mind that there are a great number of words that are independent of the sphere of communication, i. e. that can be used in a lecture, in an informal talk, in a poem, etc. Such words are stylistically neutral (е.g. bread, word, book, go, takes, white, etc.).
Students should be warned against taking the term colloquial as a kind of encouragement to use words thus marked as much as possible. The term implies that the words called colloquial are limited by their sphere of usage and, if used in a wrong situation (е.g. in a student's composition, in a conversation with an official acquaintance or with one higher in authority), may produce the impression of impoliteness or even rudeness.
E. g. He is a jolly chap. = Он парень что надо, (chapn, coll.; jollyadj, coll.) The stylistically neutral way of putting it is: He is a good (fine) man.
How are the kids? = Как ваши ребята? (kidn, coll.) The stylistically neutral way How are your children?
I'm all right. = Co мной все нормально. (all rightcoll.) The stylistically neutral way I feel (am) quite well.
Neutral Colloquial Bookish
begin start commence
continue go on proceed
end, finish be over (through) terminate
buy get purchase
Note also that such abbreviations as I'm, I've, I'll, you'd, you're, etc. are characteristic of colloquial style. Therefore, students will be well advised to avoid them in their compositions, essays, precis, etc.
B. The term stylemay be also used with reference to the manner of writing of some particular author. E. g. Hemingway's style is characterized by laconism and lack of detail. The syntax of his sentences is very simple, the dialogues are almost monosyllabic and seemingly unemotional. Yet, through the austere form the author manages sometimes to create a narration of great tension.
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