Task 1: • a) Visitors are respectfully informed that the coin required for the meter is a 50p; no other coin is acceptable. (most formal)Please use 50p pieces only. The meter accepts no other coin. 50p pieces only (least formal)b) The long message is overly detailed; it includes the word respectfully, which signals politeness; and it has two passive verb forms: is informed and (is) requiredc) Both the formal and the informal message can in fact be found anywhere, but the formal version is more likely on an official site, where the owner has taken the trouble to have a proper sign prepared. The short informal version could be a note scribbled down, or the text on the actual meter, where there is no space for the long message.
Task 2: • Child (neutral), kid (informal), infant (formal), (the word offspring is also formal and is more common in academic/scientific contexts)father (neutral), daddy (informal), male parent/ancestor (formal)leave/go away (neutral), be off/get out/get away/get lost (informal), retire/withdraw (formal)continue (neutral), go on/carry on (informal), proceed (formal)begin/start (neutral), get going/get started/come on! (informal), commence (formal)
Task 3: • System analysts can assist managers in many different ways. • This programme was established to improve access to medical care. • Medical research expenditure has increased to nearly $350 million. • Researchers have discovered that this drug has serious side effects. • Exercise alone will not eliminate medical problems related to blood pressure. • Researchers have been investigating this problem for 15 years now. • This issue was raised during the discussion yesterday
Task 4: • The first text is formal. Its field (= what it is about) has to do with the rules that must be satisfied for a student at a Texas University to qualify for cheap tuition fees. Many of its language features belong to a variety of English called ‘legalese’, a negative term which people associate with a heavy and convoluted style. • It has very long sentences with many sub-clauses, many of which have no verb that shows tense, cf. a resident alien residing in a junior college district located immediately… in simple language this means: ‘an out-of-state person who lives in a junior college which is near to the Texas boundary…’ • It contains difficult and field-specific words and phrases: alien, declaration of intention, residing, filed… a declaration of intention…etc. Federal immigration authorities. • It has the modal shall in shall be charged, which is typical of legal English. • It has a passive in shall be charged.
The second text is written in an informal style. • There are no difficult words. • Its sentences are on the whole much shorter than in text 1. • It has the informal form Dad. • It uses contracted forms: cf. I’m…, can’t help…, I’m telling. • It has active sentences with verbs that show tense. • It has an informal (phrasal verb) turned up.
This text is rather special. It has the very simple, choppy style of texts in reading materials for beginners. • The sentences are very short. • They are all simple sentences, i.e. no combinations of clauses. This makes it feel repetitive. • The vocabulary is extremely simple, all belonging to the concrete world which children understand. • It does not use contracted forms, probably in order to make the text easy to read.
This text also belongs to the formal register. Its field is the type of language used in medical and scientific research. • It contains some fairly formal, field-specific words/phrases; ensuing…, application of genre research • It has many clauses from which the forms that show tense are omitted (!): the examples (which are) used for illustration, different views (which are) related… • It uses passive forms fairly consistently: is organised, also included…is .., is also presented… • It demotes (= hides) the doer of actions and instead uses impersonal constructions where the verbs do not have personal subjects: the following section begins by considering…, the ensuing discussion of the possibility of describing and distinguishing…, a presentation of … • It contains signals in the text that tell us how it is organised. ..is organised into six part, ..begins by…also included is…, a summary is also presented. • It even has a case of fairly formal word order with the verb in front of the subject: also included in this section is a presentation of… This is a feature of formal or literary language.
Task 5: • The second text is neutral/informal and easy to read. • It relies on the personal pronoun you, and the noun people as the subject in many sentences. • The other text is formal and impersonal. Many sentences have passive verb forms, so we do not get to know who carries out the actions expressed in the verbs, cf. can be used…, without the subject’s knowledge…, three steps are suggested…, questions which are meant to…..must be asked… • The formal text has nominal constructions which hide the doer of actions. Its employment is already widespread.., some of its applications raise…, pre-employment checks… • For a case in point compare the formal: some of its applications raise serious worries • about possible abuses with the neutral: people are worried that it may be abused • The informal text has contracted forms: It’s a…, you’re allowed…they’re… The formal text does not contain contracted forms. • The list of points at the end in text 1, First, …second, and third, are signals that are typical of more formal writing.