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Informal Language in Newspapers

To the surprise of many students studying language styles, informal style occurs not only in informal letters and conversations but in newspapers as well. Newspapers may have numerous examples of slang, informal language, and coined words. This is especially the case for the word choice for headings, comic sections, humorous columns, and celebrity interview sections. The following paper will address the latest issue of USA Today newspaper with an objective to explore how informal style finds its implementation in this piece of writing art.

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To prove the possibility of informal style presence in newspapers even in those ones with the reputation of industry leaders and reliable sources, an article from USA Today newspaper was chosen. The article title is “Years after the Nickelodeon Show, Hear Clarissa Explain 20s Life”. This article refers to the leisure time news section. The first example of informal language found in the article is “go-to gal(Mallenbaum par. 1). This word expression is a classic example of informal language. It can be referred to as spoken English.

The next occurrence of informal language in the article is “nice”. The use of this word is not applicable in formal writing because it has emotional implications that are inappropriate for this style. The interviewee is using this word in her speech to express her opinion about the phenomenon she is talking about.

Further, the article section dedicated to the interviewee’s current life situation is full of informal language. This tendency is explained by the fact that this section makes an overview of Melissa Joan Hart’s interview. There are multiple instances of informal style here. “Shacking off” is one of them (Mallenbaum par. 3). “Shacking off” is used by the celebrity in an unusual context. She has chosen this verb to describe her efforts to forget about the negative feelings caused by the unsuccessful job interview. This verb in combination with the preposition “off” implemented to the noun “job interview” can be identified as an example of slang (Mallenbaum par. 3).

Next, the interview often resorts to ambiguous language such as “seemed to like” (Mallenbaum par. 8). Such imprecise wording is also not relevant for formal style. This word combination is another example of informal language therefore.

A yet another interesting verb Melissa Joan Hart is using in her comments about her latest news is “swuption” (Mallenbaum par. 19). This word can be defined as a coined word from the perspective of English language theory. Coined words can be explained as the words that have a recent origin and begin to enter the daily spoken language. The word is quite new and implements to identify the representatives of social groups appearing in an unfavorable situation due to some factors such as economic ones, for instance. The word “swuption” is a classic example of coined words therefore.

As a final point, it should be stated that informal language is common not only for conversations and informal letters but for newspapers as well. The most common cases of informal language usage are the areas in the newspaper that are intended to attract the readers’ attention or entertain them such as headings, humor columns or celebrity news. The most common types of informal language utilized in newspapers are slang, informal language, and coined words. The examples of informal words found in the studied newspaper are “go-to gal”, “nice”, “shacking off”, “seemed to like”, and “swuption”.

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Works Cited

Mallenbaum, Carly. “Years after the Nickelodeon Show, Hear Clarissa Explain 20s Life.” USA TODAY. 2016.

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