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- The effectiveness and degree of clarity of word choice and presentation.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Dic"tion (?), n. [L. dicto a
saying, a word, fr. dicere, dictum, to say; akin to
dicare to proclaim, and to E. teach, token: cf.
F. diction. See Teach, and cf. Benison,
Dedicate, Index, Judge, Preach,
Vengeance.] Choice of words for the expression of ideas;
the construction, disposition, and application of words in discourse,
with regard to clearness, accuracy, variety, etc.; mode of
expression; language; as, the diction of Chaucer's
His diction blazes up into a sudden explosion
of prophetic grandeur. De Quincey.
Syn. -- Diction, Style, Phraseology.
Style relates both to language and thought; diction, to
language only; phraseology, to the mechanical structure of
sentences, or the mode in which they are phrased. The
style of Burke was enriched with all the higher graces of
composition; his diction was varied and copious; his
phraseology, at times, was careless and cumbersome.
"Diction is a general term applicable alike to a single
sentence or a connected composition. Errors in grammar, false
construction, a confused disposition of words, or an improper
application of them, constitute bad diction; but the niceties,
the elegancies, the peculiarities, and the beauties of composition,
which mark the genius and talent of the writer, are what is
comprehended under the name of style." Crabb.
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
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