Register is a term used to describe the tone and style of language in a written or spoken communication. It’s an important concept to understand because it helps you determine what kind of voice to use in your writing, whether it’s a blog post, a newsletter or an e-book. It’s also useful for marketers who want to know which register to choose to appeal to their target audience.
The English language has a range of registers, from the informal to the formal. The most natural form of English will blend a variety of registers, depending on context and tone. The more you understand how to use different registers, the better you can write for any situation.
There are five distinct registers of language: 1. Intimate; 2. Informal; 3. Casual; 4. Formal/Academic; 5. Consultative
The first type is reserved for intimate people, such as spouses or parents. This is the most private and intimate language, which may be characterized by more slang or colloquialisms than the other registers. Rita Mae Brown, in her book Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writer’s Manual, suggests that speakers at this register are more likely to use vocabulary words with Anglo-Saxon or Germanic roots.
Informal is the language that is commonly used among friends and peers, often in casual settings. It uses slang and colloquialisms, but is less technical than the other three registers.
This register is primarily spoken between friends, but it can be used in public and professional situations as well. It also includes a range of grammar rules that are not usually followed in formal publications.
It includes a wide variety of vocabulary words that may include both colloquial and slang terms. The speaker may also employ contractions and other grammar rules that are not usually found in formal language.
The second type is formal and consultative, which involves discourse between teachers and students, judges and lawyers, doctors and patients, and between a superior and a subordinate. This type of register is appropriate for professional and academic writing.