Author Topic: formal or old fashioned  (Read 339 times)

Offline JTL

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formal or old fashioned
« on: June 22, 2019, 04:39:25 am »
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/becoming

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/unbecoming

The word "becoming" is labelled by the Cambridge dictionary as old-fashioned whereas its antonym "unbecoming" is labelled as formal.
I would like to hear your opinions about whether we should use words that are formal or even old-fashioned in our everyday conversation, and whether we should teach a student to use such words. 

A penny for your thoughts (and this sounds quite old-fashioned too)!

JTL

Offline admin

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Re: formal or old fashioned
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2019, 08:07:18 pm »
They are both fine by me - but then, I am old :)
Best wishes,

Duncan Baker
http://www.lydbury.co.uk

Offline JTL

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Re: formal or old fashioned
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2019, 10:46:10 pm »
Thank you Duncan, if you think they are fine, they ARE fine!  :)

Offline Britta

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Re: formal or old fashioned
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 08:19:56 am »
*skipping comment on Duncan's age*

When I look up words from (contemporary) novels I often find that many of them are labelled "old-fashioned". I find this confusing because, obviously, they are used in present day writing or I wouldn't be looking them up. Sometimes I suspect that "old-fashioned" just means "is not used in modern day street talk". Reading doesn't seem to be popular these days, anyway.

The problem is: if we limit our vocabulary to what is currently fashionable, where will we end up in a few decades? Grunting? So I have decided: I will use a broad vocabulary even though it might paint me "old fashioned". Who knows, perhaps we can return "old" words to popularity just by using them more.

p.s. This problem is quite similar in German, by the way.
If it's not used by a native speaker it's not idiomatic. And idiom trumps grammar every time. Jack Wilkerson†

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Re: formal or old fashioned
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2019, 08:45:29 am »
 ;D
Best wishes,

Duncan Baker
http://www.lydbury.co.uk