A register is a collection of information that relates to something. The term can also refer to an authoritative list of something, such as a shareholder register that lists all the people who own shares in a publicly traded company. A register can be informal or formal. A formal register is typically printed and may be used in legal proceedings or other business matters. An informal register is generally hand written and may be used in a private setting or during social events.
A computer’s central processing unit (CPU) uses registers to hold frequently accessed data and instructions. This helps speed up processes by reducing the amount of time it takes for the CPU to retrieve these values from main memory. Registers are also the foundation of embedded systems, which include self-contained computer systems within larger devices such as cars and household appliances.
The word “register” can also be applied to a variety of other situations. For example, when you register for a class or event, you are giving your name to the appropriate person in order to participate in it. Likewise, when you register a vehicle or property, it means that you are officially recording the ownership of the item.
Register is also a type of language that describes the way in which we use our words and phrases in different settings. Linguists use the term to describe variations in formality based on social occasion, context, and purpose. For instance, we tend to use very different speech patterns when chatting with friends than when speaking with an employer or at a formal dinner party. We may even alter the sound of our voice or the tone of our body language. This is because we are consciously or unconsciously adjusting our register to suit the situation.
The most common register is casual. This is the register that we use when we are talking with family, friends, or co-workers. People often use slang and contractions when they are in a casual conversation. They may also use expletives or off-color language. This is because people are more relaxed when they talk informally with their close friends and co-workers, and the social rules of the workplace or other formal settings do not apply to them as much. This is why the informal register is sometimes called “motherese” or legalese.