English Grammar

The style of official documents

Morphological features:

a) Adherence to the norm, sometimes outdated or even archaic, e. g. in legal documents.

Syntactical features:

a) Use of long complex sentences with several types of coordination and subordination (up to 70 % of the text).

b) Use of passive and participial constructions, numerous connectives.

c) Use of objects, attributes and all sorts of modifiers in the identifying and explanatory function.

d) Extensive use of detached constructions and parenthesis.

e) Use of participle I and participle II as openers in the initial expository statement.

f) Combining several statements into one sentence.

g) Information texts are based on standard normative syntax reasonably simplified.

Lexical features:

a) Prevalence of stylistically neutral and bookish vocabulary.

b) Use of terminology, e. g. legal: acquittal, testimony, aggravated larceny; commercial: advance payment, insurance, wholesale, etc.

c) Use of proper names (names of enterprises, companies, etc.) and titles.

d) Abstraction of persons, e.g. use of partyinstead of the name.

e) Officialese vocabulary: clichés, opening and conclusive phrases.

f) Conventional and archaic forms and words: kinsman, hereof, thereto, thereby.

g) Foreign words, especially Latin and French: status quo, force majeure, persona non grata.

h) Abbreviations, contractions, conventional symbols: M. P. (member of Parliament), Ltd (limited), $, etc.

i) Use of words in their primary denotative meaning.

j) Absence of tropes, no evaluative and emotive colouring of vocabu­lary.

k) Seldom use of substitute words: it, one, that.

Compositional features:

a) Special compositional design: coded graphical layout, clear-cut sub­division of texts into units of information; logical arrangement of these units, order-of-priority organization of content and informa­tion.

b) Conventional composition of treaties, agreements, protocols, etc.: division into two parts, a preamble and a main part.

c) Use of stereotyped, official phraseology.

d) Accurate use of punctuation.

e) Generally objective, concrete, unemotional and impersonal style of narration.

Main Aditor

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