What is Diction?

Diction can refer to either the words and phrases a person or organization uses through speech or in written materials, or to a person’s enunciation style in oral discourse. While diction can refer to any particular arrangement of words and phrases, it is often used to imply a person’s or organization’s use of an elevated, distinctive, or even abstruse way of speaking or writing. An eloquent public speaker, for example, may be said to have “excellent diction.” Diction is also often used as a synonym for phraseology. Phraseology, however, usually refers to the specialized language used within certain professional, technical, and/or scientific communities. Legal phraseology (sometimes referred to in non-standard speech as “legalese”), for example, is a specialized form of diction used by lawyers, judges, legislators, and other individuals working within the legal community. Likewise, a legal document, such as a will, business contract, or piece of legislation, would also employ legal phraseology.

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Written and fact checked by The Law Dictionary