Speech, like dress, can have different styles depending on the situation. Style itself refers to the selection of linguistic forms to convey social or artistic effects. It forms a communication system in its own right, one that determines how a social interaction will proceed, or if it will proceed at all. If it is to continue, style tells how, whether formally or informally. It may also tell listeners how to take what is being said: seriously, ironically, humorously, or in some other way.
some samples –taken from my personal experiences and the people in my
surroundings’— of style vs. words, choice of words, and tone of voice.
A. Style vs. words
2. One day, my sister and I went to our auntie’s. we were there for along time until there was a call from my mother. She said, “
B. Tone of voice
enthusiastically. After a few days, he called me again very early in the morning. I was thinking that there’s something wrong and I asked him, “Onok opo?” with a rising tone.
message seemed to be the same as the words “What’s got into you, do you have a
problem with me?” Of course, this was not what she intended to say, however, her tone, and perhaps, her choice of words made her speech sound like that. Fortunately, my lecturer seemed not to feel anything and just made a big smile.
4. Before the Extensive Reading class, some of us had a chat together outside. Then one of us asked the other one, “Hei, koen kate public presentation opo private?” she answered, “Sak karepku tah.” The tone told us that she said that as humour, so we laughed at that time. However, when she asked a question, we felt that we had a chance to take revenge, so we responded the same way as she did before, and we laughed together.
C. Choice of words
2. My father got a letter one day, from a store in
true or not. I also mentioned the name of the event in English as written in the envelope. Actually, there’s also the Indonesian version, but I meant to say it in English to make me sound more sophisticated. It seemed that it worked, since the receiver then gave a long explanation of the procedure and the conditions to get the prizes, which make me and my father more convinced of not going to the store.
3. When I was gathering with my family, somebody knocked at my door. My mother, who’s apparently totally convinced that it was my father, said, “Opo ae Pak, katek tok tok barang, wong nggowo kunci ngono.” There’s no answer, but then we heard an unfamiliar voice saying, “Assalamu’alaikum.”, which was surely not my father’s. My mother and my sisters suddenly ran away leaving me alone in the living room. I opened the door and there was a face of a stranger in front of me. Obviously, my mother had used wrong choice of words, though not intentionally.
“Hei, tuyul dan mbak yul, nang endi?”.
So it is clear that style can indicate many things through its features. By using different tone and different words, we can show our moods, our feelings, our social status and educational level, etc, to our conversational partners. We can also reveal our consideration about someone, whether or not we consider him/her our close person, and what kind of interaction we want to have with him/ her. Style can suggest what’s really inside us despite the words we use to cover it. So, be careful, if you want to lie, make sure that your style of speech will not disclose it.