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This describes the variations or patterns in texts which result from choices, made by the speaker or writer, between alternatives which express more or less the same meaning. Jucker, in one of the few studies of linguistic style in newspapers, defines style as ‘a comparative concept in that it describes some relevant differences between a text or a discourse and some other texts or discourses’ (1992: 1). Thus, we may speak of formal and informal styles, of specialized and lay styles, of elite and colloquial styles, and so on, which are open for newspapers to adopt.

It is important, however, not to over-emphasize the issue of ‘choice’ when discussing style, since ‘self-conscious linguistic choice is a relatively marginal aspect of the social processes of text production ...

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