If using the right words in the right order is accuracy, using the right word in the right context is appropriacy. Learning what to say when and how is an important aspects of language learning, and ‘appropriacy’ refers to the extent to which a word or phrase sounds natural and acceptable in a particular situation.
Appropriacy is a context-dependent quality:
Appropriacy is a context-dependent quality-the appropriacy or inappropriacy of a word or a phrase is judged not in absolute terms but in terms of its suitability to the context in which it is used. Understanding the purpose of our communication and our relationship with the person with whom we are communicating helps us choose the kind of language that suits the context.
Broadly speaking, the closer the relationship and easier the purpose, the greater should be the level of informality. We can use informal language when we are communicating with people with whom we have closer (members of family or friends) and when the reasons for communication are simple (to greet, inform, invite, congratulate). We use more formal language with people with whom our relationship is distant and professional (boss, colleagues, peers) and when the reasons for communication are more ‘complex’ (to request, complain, discuss, debate).
Below are few sentences in formal and informal:
- Hello!—- Hi there!
- I will meet you later—- See you later!
- I would like to apologise for forgetting your birthday—-sorry for forgetting your birthday
- Thanks a lot for the present!— thank you very much
- How do you do, Mrs. Rao?—- How are you?
- It is pleasure to meet you—– welcome!
- Give me a ring later—- call me later.
- I just want to express my sincere thanks for all you have done for us—- thanks for all what you have done
- I’m afraid you’re mistaken—- I think you are mistaken.
- Do you like to have some more tea?—- More tea?
- Madam—- Miss/Mrs
- Actress—- Actor/Star
- Salesman/Salesgirl/Salesboy—- Sales person/Sales assistant
- Poetess—- Poet/Writer
- Common man—- Mass/Commoner
- Man-made—- Human-made
- The best man for the job—- The best choice for the job
- May the best man win!—- let the best person win!
- Mankind—- Humanity/human race
- Man of the match—- The best player of the match