What Is Style and Stylistics?

Topics: Linguistics, Language, Writing Pages: 4 (1125 words) Published: August 6, 2010
What is meant by style is debatable because it is highly debatable if human beings are exactly alike. It is very difficult to arrive at a full description of style that is acceptable to all scholars. As such there are many definitions of the word style as there are scholars yet no consensus is reached among them on what style is. Chapman (1973) is of the view that style is the product of social situation i.e. of a common relationship between language users. He further said that style is not an ornament or virtue and is not confined to written language, or to literature or to any single aspect of language.

Language is human specific and used in society. No human language is fixed, uniform, or varying; all languages show internal variation. This variation sows the distinct feature of individuals or a group of people which is usually referred to as style. Style is popularly referred to as ‘dress’ of thought, as a person’s method of expressing his thought feelings and emotions, as the manner of speech or writing.(Samson:1996). From the definition above, one can deduce that style is the particular way in which an individual communicate his thoughts which distinguishes him from others.

Style can also be defined as the variation in an individual’s speech which is occasioned by the situation of use. (Yule: 1996) from the definition of style provided by Yule, style is described as the variations in language usage. In essence, style is conditioned by the manner in which an individual makes use of language

Middleton is of the view that style refers to personal idiosyncrasy, the technique of exposition and Chatman says that style means manner – the manner in which the form executed or the content expressed. From the definitions above, it can be deduced that style is unique to every individual or person and it is a product of the function of language as a means of communication. Thus, style can be described as the manner in which a...
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