Andy Wichmann's Smore

WORD: Diction


Definition: The style of speaking or writing as dependent upon choice of words.

What is Diction?

Diction deals with a choice of words, phrases. There are many types of diction. In formal diction words are more dignified and impersonal. In middle diction correct language is maintained but it is less elevated in style than is formal. Informal diction is used to represent the everyday language and word use. Poetic diction refers to the poets employment of elevated diction that is different from common speech.

Exmaples of diction

So instead of saying "Look at the tree." You can say "Look at the dead tree." The word dead describing tree would be a diction.

"A frosty winter night - my love,

Chill wind whispers sweet adoration.

Binds my body with the finest wool,

The darkest of sweet sensations."

John Anderson, Night, My Lover

In the above excerpt from Night, My Lover by John Anderson, Anderson chooses to use a great deal of words with 'w' and 's' sounds to convey a soothing peaceful feeling. John could have said "Cold gales talk sugary love", but it would not have conveyed the meaning or feeling of the poem correctly. The choice of one word as opposed to another is Diction.


"Examples of Diction." Diction Examples, in Poetry, Definition of Diction. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2013.

"Types of Diction in Literature?" Types of Diction in Literature. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2013.