Diction In Writing – Definition, Importance, Types, Examples of Diction


Diction In Writing – Definition, Importance, Types, Examples of Diction


Using appropriate word choices significantly enhances the quality of speeches and written works, thus making them more noticeable. Diction’s role in constructing unique tones, moods, and styles in writing and speech, ultimately affecting the audience’s impression, is vital. Therefore, diction is an influential instrument in communicating effectively.

Definition Of Diction

Diction refers to the specific vocabulary and manner of expression used by a writer or speaker in a literary work or speech. It originally comes from the Latin word “dictio,” which means “a saying, expression, or word.”

Diction is the selection of words that an individual uses in different settings and situations.

Importance of diction in communication

  1. Your choice of words influences your writing style and the tone that comes across. Therefore, it’s important to choose your words carefully.
  2. This tool can serve the dual purpose of addressing formal and informal audiences, such as in a professional setting or among friends.
  3. To guarantee that your verbal communication is easily understood, it is important to utilize appropriate pronunciation, tone, and enunciation.
  4. Employed to express specific emotions and create particular environments.
  5. Assists in the choice of vocabulary in a piece of literature.

Types of Diction

  1. Formal Diction

    Formal diction refers to a writing or speaking style that employs intricate sentence structures, impeccable grammatical form, and an extensive range of vocabulary words. It is typically used in sophisticated/professional settings such as academic papers or speeches.

    The use of formal vocabulary is prevalent in formal diction, and it is often delivered in a serious tone. It is considered the best choice for communicating with unfamiliar or authoritative individuals. Despite its tendency to be unexciting, formal language prioritizes clarity over creativity.

    Example: I beg everyone’s indulgence

                  Please, can we all be quiet

  2. Informal Diction

    Informal diction is the usage of casual and conversational words when speaking or writing. It differs from formal diction in that it is more relaxed and is commonly used in everyday interactions with colleagues and friends.

    Informal diction is suitable for writing personal letters and emails to close acquaintances. It involves playful language use, such as jokes and wordplay. Informal diction is typically reserved for conversations with those closest to you, as opposed to strangers or coworkers.

    Example: You have to be kidding me, right?

                   Just shut up!

  3. Colloquial Diction

    Colloquial diction is when informal language is used to create a conversational and relatable tone that is specific to a certain place or time. It is typically used in everyday conversations rather than formal situations.

    This type of language is similar to slang and can include words or phrases that are unique to certain geographical areas. For instance, people from rural areas in America may use words like “Ain’t” and “Gotta” to enhance the authenticity of their writing.

    Example: What’s up! You kinda look pale

                   I wanna go see how she’s coping

  4. Slang Diction

    Slang is a type of language that is not formal and is typically used in spoken conversations but not in formal writing. It consists of words, phrases, and linguistic patterns that are specific to a particular culture or group but have become widely used.

    Slang words can be newly created, modified, or shortened words, and they can also take on different meanings than their original definition.

    Example: Abeg no do

                  Omor I dey H

                  Everyone has to enjoy life now cos YOLO (You Only Live Once)

  5. Poetic Diction

    Poetic diction pertains to the manner in which language is used in poetry, including vocabulary, metaphors, and linguistic style. It employs melodious words corresponding to a particular theme expressed in a poem, resulting in a harmonious sound.

    Poetic diction often incorporates descriptive language, sometimes accompanied by a rhythm or rhyme. Though not appropriate for everyday discourse, it is an aspect of various creative forms, such as poetry, song lyrics, rap, and, to some extent, speechwriting.

    Example: Your love for me makes me go crazy

                   The Queen’s gown draped the glittery floor of the hall

  6. Abstract diction

    Abstract diction involves words and phrases representing concepts, emotions, ideas, and conditions that cannot be visualized mentally. In simpler terms, it is the use of language to convey intangible things such as feelings or thoughts. Abstract phrases are vague and lack specific details because they cannot be perceived.

    Example: Consciousness, Freedom, Hunger

  7. Concrete diction

    Concrete diction is a style of language that pertains to actual and definite entities. It employs precise and straightforward phrasing with minimal uncertainty, abiding by the accurate meanings of words and presenting only factual information.

    Concrete diction usually refers to objects that can be perceived by the senses, and its meaning is not subject to different interpretations because the writer provides clear and specific details.

    Example: The sand at the beach is warm

                   I perceive the scents of rose flower

  8. Pedantic diction

    Pedantic diction is the use of grandiose or elaborate language to express a particular message instead of using simple words. It involves being very precise or scholarly in writing, where words are carefully selected to communicate only one meaning.

    This style is occasionally employed in literature when characters speak in a highly educated way, as seen in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

    Example: “Utilitarian” instead of using “useful”

                The gentleman was engaged in perusing a literary opus” instead of using”The man was reading a book”


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