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How Does Diction Convey Tone, Purpose, and Intended Audience?

A lesson on diction, tone, purpose, and intended audience, and how they are all connected.

Caroline Billard

on 8 April 2013

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Transcript of How Does Diction Convey Tone, Purpose, and Intended Audience?

How does diction convey tone, purpose, and intended audience? an author's style of writing that is dependent
upon word choice -Objective
+ impersonal and unemotional


-Concrete and its opposite, abstract
+literal / figurative

-Pleasant sounding / harsh sounding
+can be expressed through positive and negative word choice

-Connotative / denotative
+Implied or emotional meaning / dictionary definition

-In order to define an author's tone, you have to look at other elements of the piece, such as diction
+positive diction may lead to an optimistic or joyful tone
+concrete diction can imply a didactic tone, while abstract diction can imply a contemplative tone
+objective diction may relay a callous tone -Every piece of writing has purpose
+Commercials selling products
+Television/Movies entertainment
+Literature teaching a lesson -there may be an obvious audience on the surface of the writing. Underneath that, however, there may be another audience that the author actually intends the piece to reach, hence intended audience. Diction -There is no "correct" type/form of diction; diction depends on context as well as the author's personal style -Diction can convey or even define purpose, tone, and intended audience
+All three are AT LEAST influenced by an author's choice in diction -There are many different types of diction, but each falls under one of three main levels:
+Informal -Two broad categories of diction are positive
and negative. Specific Types of Diction Tone Purpose Intended Audience Examples Examples Examples Examples SOME "No, that is a tree. Rock, tree. Get it?"
-Hogarth, The Iron Giant "Given the final futility of our struggle, is the fleeting jolt of meaning that art gives us valuable?"
-The Fault in Our Stars (Green, 68) "God aw-mighty, that dog stinks. Get him outa here, Candy! I don't know nothing that stinks as bad as an old dog. You gotta get him out."
-Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck, 42) author’s implicit attitude toward the reader -Tone can be obvious if an author chooses to be forthright, but tone may not always be in plain sight Different tones may include: Sarcastic: satiric, critical, judgmental, caustic Sincere: earnest, forthright, genuine Whimsical: fanciful, imaginative, quizzical "It was a dark and stormy night..." Tonal Shifts -Within a piece, an author may have more than one tone

-Tonal shifts can also signify a shift in purpose or audience "Of course, that's like saying you're the most important electron in a hydrogen atom."
-Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory "I feel the icy breath of death upon my neck..."
-Winifred, Hocus Pocus -audience is the one person or multiple people that a piece may be directed to. -diction plays its part in conveying intended audience
+a certain level of diction (formal, standard, informal) can be used to establish a common ground with the audience:
*formal scholars, lawyers, employers
*standard older students, adults
*informal friends, family why an author writes a piece; the intended message or lesson that they want the reader to take from their work -Different purposes can be defined by diction, tone, and audience
+scholarly diction can imply the author wanting to teach
+hopeful diction can be used for the purpose of inspiring the reader
-Though diction may be positive, the tone may be sarcastic, so read your pieces carefully! "The rolling hills covered the golden grasses that sway in the wind... The sky so perfectly blue and the sun so round."
-The Art of Racing in the Rain (Stein, 315) -The Little Mermaid clip:
+to introduce the villain
+to entertain
+to express/inform woman that what they say is important, and it's not all about looks, a pretty face, and body language Commercials targeted to an audience of younger adults in order to make them a loyal customer:
+clothing, food brands, even toothpaste
*simple, standard diction
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