Working with the lexical framework

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Working with the lexical framework
Words for …
Collect as many words within your group for ‘drunk’ as you can, trying to cover as
many different registers or levels of language as you can. Try to think about what
your parents/grandparents would say formally and informally, and also think about
different contexts, e.g. what would you say to a police officer / teacher and what
would you say to your mates.
Once you have a collection of words, you need to get them in rank order from most
formal to least. Then, once that’s done, try applying some lexical labels to them. Do
you have examples for each of the following terms? If not, can you add some for the
categories you don’t yet have?
formal
technical
informal
colloquial
impolite
slang
taboo
dialect/regional
‘posh slang’
old fashioned
older people’s slang
youth slang
Wrong register
Comedy often arises from the use of an inappropriate register, and you are now going
to create a text which exploits this. You may use your own creative ideas, or try one
of these ‘tried and tested’ possibilities:


a Principal’s welcome speech to new students
a nursery rhyme or fairy tale.
Extension activities
If you finish quickly, try one or both of these:
1. How would you analyse your (or your neighbour’s) text? You are not to be
negatively critical, but should produce good analytical sentences identifying
specific examples and effects using the PQE (point quotation explain) model.
2. Write the same text again but using the opposite ‘wrong’ register (i.e. if you
produced an unusually formal text, go the other way and write in slang, or vice
versa).
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