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Tone and Diction Blog

Tone & Diction NOTE: Use examples that might accidentally slip into academic writing. Rather than noting the street slang that is obviously slang, push to give examples of jargon words and clich phrases that are so commonly used that people don’t realize they’re slang. ________________________________________ Technology has changed the way we communicate in writing, and it has affected tone most obviously. Write like an astrophysicist (please don’t), but we do want to keep an academic tone, not a colloquial one, in our academic essays. The tone of our essays should be different from the tone of our casual emails and text messages. Generally, the most significant factors in regard to tone are pronouns (particularly second-person reference–you, your, yourself) and colloquialisms (vocabulary we’d use during a conversation over lunch with a friend). It is difficult to recognize colloquial language, particularly slang and clich phrases, because we use these words so often that they don’t sound colloquial anymore. Here are some examples: lay it on the table right off the bat buy into it in the long run pull it over on them screw up plain and simple get the point across Do you see how those phrases could easily be replaced with more academic vocabulary for a more elevated tone? be honest and forthright immediately agree with ultimately deliberately deceive or manipulate err, make a mistake simply convince These are just a few examples. Specifically, share and discuss one colloquial word or phrase that you have accidentally used in your college assignments (maybe use it in an example sentence), and then also give an alternative word choice to create a more elevated tone.