Have you ever wondered how you might achieve a style that is noble, classy, modern and thoughtful in English? Or how you might balance this with being objective, inspirational and expressive? As you will see, it is possible to achieve a style that is simultaneously all of these things, or a mixture of them, and write in a way that draws in your audience.
Capturing A Sense of Nobility
“Nobility” is a trait that can be subjective. However, by using language in a certain way, you can make your writing appear more “noble”. Nobility is associated with a sense of uprightness, which can overlap with objectivity. Refined, higher-register words and phrases that come across as balanced and unpartisan will help to capture a sense of nobility.
Example: “His contention was disputed, and consequently the wider picture remains unclear.”
Subtle word choices make this sentence appear more “noble”. For example, note the use of the word “consequently”, which is sophisticated and slightly less common than the likes of “therefore”. “Wider picture” is also higher register than “bigger picture”, a more commonplace but less elegant phrase.
Being Aware of Trade-Offs
At times, there may be a trade-off between “noble”, “classy” styles and “modern” ones, but this does not always have to be the case.
A “modern” style can be achieved by drawing on up-to-date language and the latest field-specific jargon.
Examples from the business context: “boom town”, “shake-up”.
If you pair this with elegant, thoughtful language, you can maintain a sense of class.
Keeping It Classy
You can write sentences that exude class by using sophisticated phrasings and constructions. Here is an example of a sentence written in two different ways:
Sentence 1: “The play was simultaneously moving and entertaining.”
Sentence 2: “The play was at once moving and entertaining.”
While “simultaneously” works in sentence 1 and gets across the meaning perfectly well, sentence 2 uses a more sophisticated phrasing (“at once”), which lends it a classier feel.
You can also achieve a classy style by leaving out unnecessary, elongated phrases, but note that there is a fine balance between class and conciseness, and sometimes a classy style may mean avoiding the most concise option possible.
Convincing Your Reader
Using classy and modern language can help to build your argument and ultimately convince your reader, though the language most likely to convince will always depend on your target audience. Nevertheless, writing that conveys a degree of sophistication can make it seem like the writer knows what they are talking about, which, in turn, can be more convincing.
Mixing It Up
Another stylistic tool involves varying sentence lengths. Using a mix of short and longer sentences can change the pace of a text and make it seem more dynamic. A short sentence can be a useful way to start a paragraph, for example, by introducing a thought and laying a foundation for a few more complex sentences to come.
Example: “Well, it happened. The company has achieved exactly what it set out to do — become the market leader.”
The use of the dash also introduces a nice pause that again changes up the pace of the sentence.
One of the advantages of shorter sentences is that they communicate confidence and therefore seem more convincing.
To return to objectivity, or a more “scientific” approach, the passive tense is a tool that can be used sparingly in English to achieve this. Using this tense can imply that a certain contention is widely accepted.
Having said that, it is important not to overuse it, as the active voice is generally favoured in English, and can be convincing in its own way, too: it creates a connection with the reader that the passive voice does not.
Language that comes across as “inspirational” is usually more creative and expressive. As long as it is not overused or clichéd, it can be balanced with the more classy, sophisticated language discussed above. Using figurative language can achieve an “inspirational” effect.
Example: “There is a sense that opportunity is knocking at the door”.
Using some of the techniques explored here will help you to effectively manipulate the English language to achieve the style you desire and create a lasting connection with your readers.