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Diction

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.

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