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Help:Stylistic level

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Now that OmegaWiki has annotation functionality, we should discuss what we can do with it. Part of speech has been implemented, and I propose the next one: level of speech, or stylistic level, or register. (Wikipedia:Register (linguistics), DefinedMeaning:Sprachebene (467472))

OmegaWiki collects same-language synonyms for its DMs, and the level of speech gives users a hint in which situation which synonym should be used.

What it is needed for[edit]

There are a lot of topics that are connected to certain taboos or just certain social rules of how they should be talked about. Sex, crime, bodily functions, death, religion, ethnicity, disabilities, just to name a few. Think about how many expressions your native language has for "to have sex with somebody". A dozen? Two dozen? Easily. Some of them are very technical or scientific, some of them are indirect enough you might use them in front of your mother if you have to, some are used by shy parents trying to explain the matter to their children, and some are used by men to brag in front of their friends. Now, if you just take a definition "to have sex with somebody" and add terms like "to fuck", we'll get a lot of terms that are "unsafe to use". Thus, we need to mark them in a way, so users will know what term belongs in which social surrounding.


"stylistic level" can be implemented exactly like "part of speech". What we need is translations of the following terms in as many languages as possible

Which stylistic levels of a language are there?[edit]

I have not found a good page about this topic on English Wikipedia, but German Wikipedia has some (Sprachstil / Sprachebene, maybe these can be translated). It proposes the following stylistic levels:


(definition needed)

  • normal / normalsprachlich
official / legal
academic / scientific
  • academic / bildungssprachlich (Hospitation, nebulös, sukzessiv)
high level (?)
  • high-level / gehoben (Antlitz, erwehren, hochherzig)

DefinedMeaning:poetic (468864)

  • poetic / dichterisch (Aar, Maiennacht, sonnenhell)

DefinedMeaning:colloquial (425217)

  • colloquial / umgangssprachlich (Kinkerlitzchen, mosern, Muskelprotz)
  • casual / salopp (Besäufnis, herunterbammeln, Mückenschiss)
  • rough / derb (anpissen, Arschkarte, Rotzfahne)

DefinedMeaning:vulgar (467490)

  • vulgar / vulgär (ficken, Fotze, einen runterholen)
written / literary language
baby talk
children's language
  • kindersprachlich / children's language
women's language
adolescent language
  • jugendsprachlich / adolescent language
  • gaunersprachlich / criminal slang (cant)
  • bescheiden-höfliche Sprache / humble-polite language
  • ehrerbietig-höfliche Sprache / honorific-polite language
politically correct
  • ie. Verballhornung
    Verballhornung means changing the way of writing words in the german language, so that the result gets another sense or the same sense with other words. This takes place often deliberately for humorous purposes. Example:
Rechtsverdreher (rightsturner; Recht = Rights (as given by law); Verdreher = somebody who turns something around) instead of Rechtsanwalt (=Lawyer).

Example terms with many expressions on different stylistic levels[edit]