Use the Right Registers, Guys!


When it comes to using the right language for speaking, I have to consider register. What is it? Register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting, a native English speaker is more likely to use  prescribed grammar than in an informal setting—such as pronouncing words ending in -ing with a velar nasal instead of an alveolar nasal (e.g. “talking”, not “talkin'”), choosing more formal words (e.g. father vs. dad, child vs. kid, police vs cops, etc.), and refraining from using words considered nonstandard, such as ain’t, gonna, gotta.

Now see the examples below the language I use during a GDLN video conference. I was giving a reaction to the lecture by Prof. Ju Ho Lee. Check these out!

  • “I think Prof. Lee calls the catch-up experience of Korea as a ‘detour’ because it is like a deviation from a direct or usual course that latecomer countries immediately replicate the advanced economies specializing in long-cycle technologies. Instead, Korea moves in the opposite direction of short-cycle technologies, which is eventually proven that it is a successful catch-up strategy with incumbent advanced countries.
  • “In my view, the latecomer economies and firms should take a detour strategy rather than take a ‘straight route’ because detour will lead to many emergences of new technologies that give higher growth prospects and lower barrier for entry. Especially in the concepts of adding-up problem, competing with other developing countries that outpour the market with the same goods they can produce rigorously will just make the prices of the goods decrease and therefore provide less profits and eventually fail in the price competition. So, detour strategy is closely related to both adding-up problem and entry barrier.”
  • “Leapfrogging” strategy in technological development that I learnt from Prof. Lee’s presentation is like the latecomer economies absorb what the technological leaders have to offer and leap to a new environment-friendly techno paradigm. And there are two paths of leapfrogging catching up: the first is is stage-skipping catching-up like the example of Samsung 64 K D-RAM and Hyundai automobile, and the second is path-creating catching-up like in the example of CDMA cellular phone and digital TV.”
  • “So, the best time to try this leapfrogging strategy is when we need to find new renewable energies and fusion of technologies that provides new solutions, or during emergences of shorter-cycle sectors such as cell phones, digital TV, solar power, wind power, electric vehicles, biofuels and so on. During the boom period of business cycles, leapfrogging will provide higher probability of success because the target market is always available for products with higher added-value.”

See…how formal I was! You can see it from the choice of words and the grammar I use. Anyway, in the right situation, using such formal language makes me sounds credible, doesn’t it?

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