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Curbing language intensity

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1 Author(s)
Peneguy, L.D. ; Dept. of English, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Language plays an enormous part in an audience's perception of a writer, particularly when such language is highly intense. High-intensity language tends to be more colorful, subjective, emotionally charged and personal (e.g. “plot”, “scheme”), while low-intensity language tends to be more bland, objective, dispassionate and impersonal (e.g. “plan”). High-intensity language can be good for the professional writer since color and emotion attract interest, but this can be a damaging sort of interest if readers are offended by the level of intensity. Low-intensity language, on the other hand, is safer because it is less personal and hence less likely to offend, yet too much of it may put the reader to sleep. Thus, the challenge for professional writers is to find a median intensity, a healthy balance between subjectivity and objectivity

Published in:

Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 1999

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