Diction is simply your choice of words. There is no single, correct diction in the English language; rather, different words or phrases are used in different contexts, as in the following example:

To an employer
an oversight
To the police
an accident
To a child
a mistake
To a friend
a screw-up

All of these words mean the same thing—that is, they have the same denotation—but you would not use them interchangeably: a police officer or employer would interpret screw-up as an insult, while your friends at the bar after a hockey game would think oversight is pretentious.

The details

Search by related themes

Want to learn more about a theme discussed on this page? Click on a link below to see all the pages on the Language Portal of Canada that relate to the theme you selected. The search results will be displayed in Language Navigator.

Date modified: