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Сохрани ссылку в одной из сетей:

(Sh. Norton)

    • Task 12.

Make the necessary changes in the text following the pattern (neutral, literal, etc…) Explain what kind of changes you had to introduce. Account for the effect produced.

Jim: Ann, could you lend me five quid?

Ann: What for?

Jim: Well, I have got to go and see my mum and dad, and my bike is not working, so I’ll have to get a cab.

Ann: Can’t you call them and say you can’t come?

Jim: Well, I could, except I want to go because they always have lots of food, and the fridge at our place is empty as usual.

Ann: Can’t you go by tube?

Jim: Erm…

Ann: Still, the answer is no.

  • Stores LOVE service agreements, for the same reason you’d love to have money fall on you from the sky. As a result, when you buy a product today, you get this bizarre multiple-personality sales pitch, because at the same time that the salesperson is telling you how swell the product is, he’s suggesting it will need a LOT of service:

SALESPERSON: …so this is an excellent product. Totally reliable.

YOU: I’ll take it!

SALESPERSON: It’s going to break.

YOU: What?

SALESPERSON: There’s this thing inside? The confabulator? You’re lucky if that baby lasts you a week.

YOU: So you’re saying it’s NOT a good product?

SALESPERSON: No! It’s top of the line! Totally dependable!

YOU: Well, OK, then, I guess I’ll…

SALESPERSON: Of course, if the refrenestator module blows, you’re looking at a $263,000 repair, plus parts and labor. One customer had to sell a lung.

(D. Barry. “Nothing for Something”, the Moscow Times)

Reference materials:

Galperin I. R. “Stylistics”

Arnold I. V. “Стилистика современного английского языка”

Skrebnev Y. M. “Стилистика английского языка”

Collins V. H. “The Choice of Words”

Lebedeva L.B. 10 Lectures in Style


1. Colloquial Vocabulary. Slang.

  1. Professionalisms vs. jargonisms.

3. Nonce-words.

4. Vulgarisms vs. taboo-words.

5. Dialectal words.

Task 1.

Read the text and outline various groups of vocabulary units (terms, slang, jargon, etc)

  • At this time of year, as the woods around Moscow fill up with mushroom-seekers, I am often reminded of an anecdote about a wealthy Russian émigré who had just arrived in New York. Determined to make her mark on upper-crust society, she organized a grand formal dinner, inviting the richest and most powerful of the city’s elite to a seven-course Russian feast. The second course – a wild mushroom julienne – elicited several compliments, and the woman leapt at the chance to impress her guests further.

“As a matter of fact,” she began, “I picked these mushrooms myself.” A nervous murmur spread through the room. “Oh, there’s no need to worry,” continued the hostess reassuringly. “We Russians have a long tradition of gathering mushrooms. Besides, I fed some to the dog for lunch, and he’s perfectly fine. ”

The relieved laughter ended abruptly when the butler burst into the room. “Madame,” he intoned, “the dog is dead!” Pandemonium ensued: screaming, gagging, guests knocking over chairs as they fought their way to the door and the nearest hospital. The stunned hostess collapsed onto her chair, sobbing at her social ruin. Eventually, through her tears, she noticed the butler standing at attention beside the table. “Why are you still here?” she asked.

“What shall I tell him, Madame?” the butler inquired politely.

“Tell whom!?”

“The driver of the truck that killed your dog.”

Here, where mushroom-picking is a national pastime, I tend to trust the locals, although when I buy from babushkas I still stick to lisichki (chanterelles) and beliye griby (porcini), the only two sorts I can recognize. If you are daring, head out to the woods yourself and use your own harvest in the following recipe. But please feed some to the dog first.

(P. Krumm, “Risky Pickings”, the Moscow Times)

  • Poised on the corner of New York’s glitzy Rockefeller Plaza is the world’s first Fashion Café. And inside waiting for me are its owners, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Elle McPherson….

The place is jammed with photographers and journos, pens at the ready. In glide the three gourmet goddesses, all broad smiles (except Naomi, who prefers to pout) and tight T-shirts. With a dollop of American schmaltz, their business partners praise the privilege of working with such beauties and describe how they created the interior. It’s split into a photo studio area and three sections depicting the world’s fashion capitals, Milan, New York and Paris. In the evening, the ceiling becomes a starry night sky.


The party throbs till the early hours with live performances by Duran Duran and the Spin Doctors. Between bopping, we ogle the exhibits in wonderment. Madonna’s corsets, Sharon Stone’s Oscar dress and Claudia’s Guess ad bustier. But the most intriguing objects are two jewel-incrusted gold swords. Do models use them for duels over Vogue covers? Turns out they’re Ivana Trump’s ski poles. I think it’s time to grab my fake Chanel bag and get back to the real world.

(S. Wheeler, “Chanel and Chips”, more!)

    • Task 2.

Explain the difference between neologisms and nonce-words. Provide examples. Account for the source of associations of nonce words and the effect produced.

e.g. Heffalump - слонопотам, backson – Щасвирнус (A.A. Milne)

  • herrible (A.A. Milne);

  • snark,

  • “Reeling and Writhing…and different branches of Arithmetic – Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision…” (L. Carroll);

  • промерзкло,

  • цверень,

  • дыплер…

    • Task 3.

Suggest your own translation, preserving the stylistic effect of a nonce - word. (e.g. Б. Заходер «слонопотам, искпедиция»). You are welcome to invent your own nonce-word.

      • Seography,

      • Kleptopigia,

      • boyology,

      • bread-and-butterfly,

      • father-tongue,

      • yesday.

  • Task 4.


Try to elucidate the etymology of the following slangisms:

    • Eye-opener;

    • hen-party;

    • beef-cake;

    • jaw-breaker;

    • to moonlight,

    • laughing soup/water,

    • ice,

    • вымораживать,

    • колбаситься,

    • врубаться,

    • бык…

  • Task 5.

You are given one element of a synonymic line. Reconstruct the line, supplying the missing elements; you are welcome to enlarge it. The more variants the better!

Neutral Slang Слэнг

To two-time

All that jazz

Jive talk

To be off one’s trolley

Alive & kicking






Nonsense, triviality

A car

To be in love

A lot of money


  • Task 6.


The main distinctive feature of jargon is that it is aimed at preserving secrecy. There can be various types of jargon. Usually jargonisms are classified according to the groups of people they are employed by. Enlarge upon the groups of jargonisms given below.

Тюремный жаргон

Откинуться, ствол, пахан, con, mill, to sing/unbutton, cooler, суфлер, handful, job, …

Криминальный жаргон

Плетка, железо; качели, качалово, кусалово, бодалово, терка; цинкануть; просохатить стрелку; уши греть; перегаситься, bluster, gat, to kipe…

Армейский жаргон

Шаркать, полкан, дух, дед, губа, дембель, black hole, barber bait, draft dodger, heat can, four stripper…

Жаргон наркомана

Косяк, кораблик, захорошеть, накрыть, дунуть, пластилин, марка, винт, to push, to be off, pot, joint, angie…

Жаргон спортивных болельщиков

Кони, дворники, мясники, рама, роза, горчичник, Derby, battery, can of corn, gas (heat), a hole in his glove, yard…

Студенческий жаргон

Шпора, заколоть, бомба, костыль, ботан, автомат, to cut a lecture, dorm(hut), fox, to pound the books, frat…

  • Task 7.


a) Study the given list of computing professionalisms and guess their equivalents in the scope of terms. Define the mechanism of meaning transfer. Suggest your own examples of various professionalisms.


Mess dog

Deep magic

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  1. Distinguish among terms and professionalisms in the given list of words, belonging to the same sphere.

Acting in concert

acid-test ratio


Artcle 8 currency

baby bond


Big Bang/Big Board

Bill and Ben”

blue chip



cats & dogs

cook the books



force majeure

in the red/black

lame duck

laundering (of money)


  • Task 8.

Taboo – words.

Explain the difference between vulgarisms and obscenity - words. Provide short examples of their usage from various literary works (in context!) and say how they influence the text. By what reasons can their usage be justified in a literary text?

  • Sometimes, ‘F****** hell!’ isn’t the most polite or the most constructive thing to say, but it’s the only possible response in the circumstances.

(Sh. Norton)

  • Task 9.

Dialectal words.

Elucidate the functions of dialectilisms in literary texts. Provide examples, which are characteristic of your region. What other layers of vocabulary can they overlap?

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