Formality Is Sometimes Seen To Be

Topics: Communication, Formal, Discourse Pages: 4 (1218 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Formality is sometimes seen to be the degree of social distance between the members of any communicative event. It can also be seen as the degree of strictness or flexibility to customs and rules which govern the behaviour of people in any communicative context. This view of formality considers who should speak, when he should speak and what he is expected to say. This is also an aspect of formality but we are more concerned with formality as a way in which language and related activities are used to reflect the nature or distance or closeness between any two persons in a given interaction. There are three levels of formality and they are; the formal, the informal and the colloquial. We will limit ourselves to two of these levels, which are; the formal and the informal. These levels of formality are affected by a number of factors of which some include; participant equality/inequality, participant familiarity and history of relationship. Formality also can be manifested or measured in many ways and some of these ways include; address systems, nature of exchange of language and formality and medium. We will set our focus on formality and medium. The level of formality may be determined by the medium through which speech or language is transmitted. The spoken and the written are the two basic mediums of language. Some examples of medium-spoken discourses are speeches, face to face interaction, public addresses and news broadcasts. Newspapers, books and journals are examples of medium-written discourses. Formality is generally associated with the written mode principally as a result of the impersonal nature of its communication and also on its insistence on the correctness of language. Thus, with reference to the levels of formality, the written mode is formal while the spoken mode is informal. There are exceptions to this notion and this is because there are medium-written discourses that are informal, likewise are there medium-spoken discourses that are formal....
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