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Familiar Words, Professionalisms and their Stylistic Functions. Coinages.

Professionalisms, as the term itself signifies, are the words used in a definite trade, profession or calling by people connect­ed by common interests both at work and at home. They commonly designate some working process or implement of labour. Professional­isms are correlated to terms. Terms, as has already been indicated, are coined to nominate new concepts that appear in the process of, and as a result of, technical progress and the development of science.

Professional words name anew already-existing concepts, tools or instruments, and have the typical properties of a special code. The main feature of a professionalism is its technicality. Professionalisms are spe­cial words in the non-literary layer of the English vocabulary, whereas terms are a specialized group belonging to the literary layer of words. Terms, if they are connected with a field or branch of science or tech­nique well-known to ordinary people, are easily decoded and enter the neu­tral stratum of the vocabulary. Professionalisms generally remain in circulation within a definite community, as they are linked to a common occupation and common social interests. The semantic structure of the term is usually transparent and is therefore easily understood. The se­mantic structure of a professionalism is often dimmed by the image on which the meaning of the professionalism is based, particularly when the features of the object in question reflect the process of the work, metaphori­cally or metonymically. Like terms, professionalisms do not allow any polysemy, they are monosemantic.

Here are some professionalisms used in different trades: tin-fish (^submarine); block-buster (= a bomb especially designed to destroy blocks of big buildings); piper (=a specialist who decorates pastry with the use of a cream-pipe); a midder case (=a midwifery case); outer (=& knockout blow).

Some professionalisms, however, like certain terms, become popu­lar and gradually lose their professional flavour.

Professionalisms should not be mixed up with jargonisms. Like slang words, professionalisms do not aim at secrecy. They fulfil a socially useful function in communication, facilitating a quick and adequate grasp of the message.

As is seen, each financial professionalism is explained by the author and the words themselves are in-Jnverted commas to stress their pe­culiar idiomatic sense and also to,indicate that the words do not belong to the standard English vocabulary in the meanings they are used.

Professionalisms are used in emotive prose to depict the natural speech of a character. The skilful use of a professional word will show not only the vocation of a character, but also his education, breeding, environment and sometimes even his psychology. That is why, perhaps, a literary device known as speech-characterization is so abundantly used in emotive prose. The use of professionalisms forms the most conspicuous element of this literary device.


Date: 2015-12-17; view: 1012


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Informal English Vocabulary and its Stylistic Functions. | Colloquial coinages (words and meanings)
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