FROM THE EDITOR
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FEATURE
A Tough Nut to Crack
Figures of speech and
the language learner

Birthday Greetings
MED Magazine celebrates
its first birthday

COLUMNS
Metaphor
What we talk about
when we talk about
love

Focus on Language
Study:

Introduction
Register

Saying the right thing
at the right time
UK version  US version

New word of the month
New ways of
expressing age

Top Tips for the CD-ROMs
Using SmartSearch to examine register and domain

onestopenglish.com

Top Tips for the CD-ROMs
Using SmartSearch to examine register and domain
by Mairi MacDonald

This month's Top Tips column invites you to explore issues of register and domain with your students using the CD-ROMs. You won't need whole class access to the dictionary — these are activities you can quickly prepare using the CD-ROMs.

By searching for words according to a particular register or domain using SmartSearch, you can create worksheets that supplement the article on Register elsewhere in this issue.

In the Macmillan Essential Dictionary, the following options are listed under style in the SmartSearch dialog box:


1 Finding examples of a specific register

The following search will find examples of frequent formal nouns in the dictionary. Click on SmartSearch, leave the search box blank and tick the following options:

Headwords
Part of speech: noun
Style: formal
Frequency: very high frequency/high frequency/quite high  frequency

This gives you 36 results. Look through the search results to find definitions containing example sentences. Copy and paste the example sentences by highlighting and right-clicking the text you want to copy.

Activity 1 Register

Introduce the idea of register by using the examples from the Language Study article. Ask students to point out the difference between the following sentences:

They found it most agreeable.
They really enjoyed themselves.
They had a ball.

1 Underline the formal word or phrase in the following sentences.

a We do not release the names of our customers without their authority.
b The coach criticized his team for their conduct.
c There have been no reports of car theft to date.
d The seller is entitled to retain possession of the goods until they are paid for.
e He laughed again, obviously in a good humour.
f Several writers of note will be at the conference.
g She doesn't have the means to support herself.
h Please keep your bags with you at all times.
i The two groups are very similar with respect to age.
j Students will take an examination at the end of the year.

See answers

2 Think of a synonym for each of the words you have underlined. If you need help, look up the word in the dictionary.

See answers


Tip

Get students to divide the following list into two categories: register labels and domain labels. This will get students thinking about the concept of register and what we mean by domain.

showing approval
business
computing
showing disapproval
formal
humorous
impolite
informal
journalism
legal
linguistics
literary
medical
offensive
old-fashioned
science
spoken
technical
trademark

2 Finding examples of a specific domain

You can find examples of words from different domains in much the same way as you do for register.

The list of words in the activity below was selected from the search results created by checking Headword >Part of speech: noun >Style: linguistics, legal and medical. The original list contains 143 results, but you don't need to use all of them!

You can introduce the concept of domain by discussing the following examples from the article on register and domain labels:

Wait. I'm short of respiration.
I'm just going to take out some liquid assets.
No, thanks. I'm having lunch in my abode.

Activity 2 Domain

Which domains do the following words belong to? Arrange the words in the list below to complete the table.

perjury
carcinogen
plaintiff
plural
vowel
defendant
homonym
injunction
corpus
lesion
manslaughter
cranium
melanoma
conjugate
mood
neurology
cardiovascular
homicide

legal
linguistics
medical

 

 

   

See answers