Dialect and Slang

  • G. L. Brook
Part of the St Antony’s book series


It is not always easy to distinguish between dialects and other varieties of English, such as slang and register. The essential difference between a dialect and a register is that the former is used habitually by a group of people, while the latter depends on the occasion when it is used, formal or informal, for business or for pleasure. The difficulty in distinguishing between the two varieties arises because a group may be either permanent or temporary. If a number of doctors get together to discuss a patient’s condition, they are likely to use a lot of technical terms. Are they using their occupational dialect or a register? If the sort of language that they employ is that used by doctors on all occasions, it is an occupational dialect; if it is used only on certain occasions, it is best regarded as a register.


Everyday Life Sixteenth Century Technical Term Standard Language Legal Term 


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Copyright information

© G. L. Brook 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. L. Brook
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManchesterUK

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