Articulation vs. Diction

By Jaxson

  • Diction

    Diction (Latin: dictionem (nom. dictio), “a saying, expression, word”), in its original meaning, is a writer’s or speaker’s distinctive vocabulary choices and style of expression in a poem or story. In its common meaning, it is the distinctiveness of speech, the art of speaking so that each word is clearly heard and understood to its fullest complexity and extremity, and concerns pronunciation and tone, rather than word choice and style. This is more precisely and commonly expressed with the term enunciation, or with its synonym articulation.Diction has multiple concerns, of which register, the adaptation of style and formality to the social context, is foremost. Literary diction analysis reveals how a passage establishes tone and characterization, e.g. a preponderance of verbs relating physical movement suggests an active character, while a preponderance of verbs relating states of mind portrays an introspective character. Diction also has an impact upon word choice and syntax.

    Aristotle, in The Poetics (20), states that “Diction comprises eight elements: Phoneme, Syllable, Conjunction, Connective, Noun, Verb, Inflection, and Utterance. However, Epps states that in this passage “the text is so confused and some of the words have such a variety of meanings that one cannot always be certain what the Greek says, much less what Aristotle means.”

  • Articulation (noun)

    A joint or the collection of joints at which something is articulated, or hinged, for bending.

    “The articulation allowed the robot to move around corners.”

  • Articulation (noun)

    A manner or method by which elements of a system are connected.

  • Articulation (noun)

    The quality, clarity or sharpness of speech.

    “His volume is reasonable, but his articulation could use work.”

  • Articulation (noun)

    The manner in which a phoneme is pronounced.

  • Articulation (noun)

    The manner in which something is articulated (tongued, slurred or bowed).

    “The articulation in this piece is tricky because it alternates between legato and staccato.”

  • Articulation (noun)

    The interrelation and congruence of the flow of data between financial statements of an entity, especially between the income statement and balance sheet.

  • Diction (noun)

    Choice and use of words, especially with regard to effective communication.

  • Diction (noun)

    The effectiveness and degree of clarity of word choice and expression.


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