Anonymous:
When someone was sentenced to death, we can say 'he/she got an electric chair'.

When someone filed a law suit or took a legal action, we san say 'he/she got a lawyer'.

In these examples, I guess 'be sentenced to death', 'file a law suit' and 'take a legal action'
are more formal than 'get an electric chair' and 'get a lawyer'.

In news reports formal expressions are prefered.

When having small talk, informal ones such as 'get ---' will be used more frequently.

In academic debates and speeches, however, which type of expressions will be better used,
formal or informal?
I guess formal ones will be prefered, but actually informal ones are more simple and useful because
we can talk about many things by just combining 'get' and a noun.

Let's say, if I use only informal expressions such as 'get an electric chair' and 'get a lawyer' in an academic debate
or speech, is it strange?
Hi,

In academic debates and speeches, however, which type of expressions will be better used, formal or informal?
Let's say, if I use only informal expressions such as 'get an electric chair' and 'get a lawyer' in an academic debate or speech, is it strange?

Here are just a few comments on your interesting questions.

It's true that speaking is usually more informal than writing. However, an academic should both speak and write in a way that shows clarity of thought. For example, the electric chair is only one of several ways that you can be executed, so if you speak of 'people who get the chair', it's not clear whether you are speaking of those people only or of all condemned people.

The good thing about short words like 'get', 'make', 'do' is that they make a strong, simple impact. The bad thing is that they do not permit the nuances and distinctions that other words offer. For example, if I say 'he got the chair', do I mean 'he was condemned' or 'he was executed'?

I also suggest that an academic should never use a long or obscure word when a short or common word will do the job equally well. In particular, jargon should be avoided if possible, and especially if the discussion involves people outside the particular area of study.

Best wishes, Clive



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... got the electric chair ...

If he got anelectric chair, it was probably a Christmas gift. Emotion: smile

It is not strange for academics to use informal language in speeches or debates.
I recommend it.
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Anonymous:
Clive and Calif Jim, thank you.
I got it.
Anonymous:
in my own understanding formal words are those words that gives us a direct meaning or clear meaning such as happy,sad and etc. while informal words are words having a lot a meaning with the inclusion of idioms, jargons, cliche and slang.
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