Diction is a component of style that refers to the speaker's choice of words (Word Choice) and their connotation.

Classifying Diction

When analyzing a writer's diction, it's important you can classify what style of diction it is. If readers are able to understand the authors viewpoint and feel the emotional appeal (ethos) that the author wants them to then the writing will have more of an impact on them. When an author uses words that are used primary in an angry state then the diction will therefore be more angry and forceful too. Same goes with if an author were to use more pleasing words the diction will have more of a happier angle. Diction sets up how an author wants their information to come across to their audience, it sets the whole feel of the paper.All words are diction. Every word the author uses is diction. Diction isn't just word choice though it is also the style,mood and dialect.


Informal- "Hey dude!! I'm liking the new shades. They are pretty lit, if you ask me! You are killin that look right now."
Moderate- "Hey , I really like your sunglasses today. You make those look good."
Formal- "Hello Mr./Mrs. _
___, I am very fond of your attire this morning. It is very appealing to the eye."

Common Descriptors

Diction as a Rhetorical Strategy

An author needs to appeal to their audience in order to make their writing more meaningful to their audience. The diction an author decides to use must appeal to their audience, an example of this would be using phrases or words that were used back in the 30's to an audience that grew up in that time period this allows them to feel a closeness to them another example being is an author were to reference music or current social media to an audience of a group of teenagers. By doing this an author forms a relationship with their audience.

History Of Diction

Diction has been around since people could talk, Aristotle was the one who classified what diction was though, he said that is comprised of 8 elements, Phoneme, Syllable, Conjunction, Connective, Noun, Verb, Inflection, and Utterance. However modern day writers don't completely agree since words have had several meanings throughout the years and they cannot always be certain that they are interpreting all of those elements correctly when it comes to older writing such as Greek.

Orwell's Argument, Problems with English

Dying Metaphor

  • It is no longer received as a metaphor.
  • Used to much that it has lost it's original meaning.
  • An over used cliche detached from it's intended meaning.
  • Taken out of context.

Verbal Padding

  • Unnecessarily turning simple verbs into wordy phrases.
  • Making simple statements longer and less direct.

Pretentious Diction

  • Dress up or outright obscures ideas, making them seem sophisticated, objective, or more desirable.

Meaningless Words

  • Lack of a consistent definition.
  • Words are subjective, politicized, and romanticized.
  • Representations of feelings rather than unique or different ideas.
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