Review: Diction

Decide whether the highlighted word or phrase in each of the following examples is appropriate for use in an academic essay.

 

 

1. Bleeding-heart liberals have caused Canada's debt problems.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is appropriate is not correct.

Explanation:

"Bleeding-heart liberals" is a cliché. It also carries strongly negative connotations, while academic writing should have a neutral tone.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is inappropriate is correct.

Explanation:

"Bleeding-heart liberals" is a cliché. It also carries strongly negative connotations, while academic writing should have a neutral tone.

 

 

2. The "sacred heart" is a common depiction of Jesus.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is appropriate is correct.

Explanation:

"Sacred heart" is the name of the type of depiction, not a cliché or catch phrase, so it is appropriate here.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is inappropriate is not correct.

Explanation:

"Sacred heart" is the name of the type of depiction, not a cliché or catch phrase, so it is appropriate here.

 

 

3. The Internet has become very successful over the past two years.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is appropriate is correct.

Explanation:

The phrase "very successful" is common, but it does not attempt to be clever or different: "very" is a normal intensifier in English.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is inappropriate is not correct.

Explanation:

The phrase "very successful" is common, but it does not attempt to be clever or different: "very" is a normal intensifier in English.

 

 

4. In 1812, General Brock was the hero of the day.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is appropriate is not correct.

Explanation:

Although General Brock was a "hero" in the traditional, military sense, the phrase "hero of the day" has been used so often (and tries to sound so clever) that it has become a cliché.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is inappropriate is correct.

Explanation:

Although General Brock was a "hero" in the traditional, military sense, the phrase "hero of the day" has been used so often (and tries to sound so clever) that it has become a cliché.

 

 

5. The government will slash spending by three billion dollars.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is appropriate is not correct.

Explanation:

"Slash spending" is an especially low-grade journalistic catch phrase (the worst of them alliterate), but the word "slash" also carries strongly negative connotations, while academic writing should keep a neutral tone.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer This phrase is inappropriate is correct.

Explanation:

"Slash spending" is an especially low-grade journalistic catch phrase (the worst of them alliterate), but the word "slash" also carries strongly negative connotations, while academic writing should keep a neutral tone.