Register (linguistics)

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A register, in linguistics, is how one talks or writes differently to different people. One may be more polite to strangers, for example.

Formality scale
Very formal ← FORMAL      Normal      INFORMAL → Very informal
This diagram is from Quirk et al. (1985), who use the term attitude rather than style or register.

This chart shows the words or phrases that one would use depending on different registers:

Register Phrase
Very informal "Ey!" or "Yo!" or "Wassup!"
Informal "Hey!" or "Hi!"
Formal "Hello!"
Very formal "Good morning/afternoon/evening!"

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