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    #1

    Do formal words always have to be accompanied by fancy, elaborate structures?

    Hi, everyone.
    I'm studying for the GRE, and thus is absorbing lots and lots of new, formal, and difficult words.
    However, I'm wondering: "Do formal words always have to be accompanied by fancy, elaborate structures?"
    For example, would the following sentence sound somewhat ridiculous to you?
    "It all depends on the interlocutor." - By it, I mean the style of the language a person use.
    Furthermore, I don't want to confine the scope of the question only on the GRE essays but also speaking and writing in general and, if possible, in other standardized tests like TOEFL or IELTS.
    Thank you very much.
    PS: I would appreciate if you can show me any mistakes I've made in my posts like in grammar, vocabulary, or style and punctuation. Thanks again.
    Please notify me of any mistakes in my posts. It is much appreciated.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Do formal words always have to be accompanied by fancy, elaborate structures?

    You ask a very good question. One's language can be colloquial, formal, or very formal, depending on the circumstances. A good analogy is the way one dresses. One can dress in jeans and a tee shirt, a shirt with a collar and khakis, a suit, or a tuxedo. One's dress should be appropriate for the occasion. And the various garments should go together. One would usually not wear a blue proletariat work shirt, jeans and a bow tie. Also not a tuxedo with shabby sneakers. Words such as "interlocutor" should be reserved for very formal language. Look at this: I was in a bar the other night and met a great guy. We talked about all kinds of stuff. My fellow interlocutor was very smart.

    That doesn't sound right.

    Now this: Ladies and gentleman, I am very honored by this prestigious award. I will cherish it to the end of my days. It is really good shit.

    That doesn't sound right either.

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    #3

    Re: Do formal words always have to be accompanied by fancy, elaborate structures?

    It made me laugh, though.

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Do formal words always have to be accompanied by fancy, elaborate structures?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Now this: Ladies and gentleman, I am very honored by this prestigious award. I will cherish it to the end of my days. It is really good shit.

    That doesn't sound right either.
    Maybe a Razzie "winner" (with a sense of humor) may use it, though! (http://www.razzies.com/).
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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