Registers:Lexical Items

The term ‘register’ may be defined as ‘a variety of language distinguished according to use’. Language may be used in connection with a variety of subjects. It can be used, for instance, to describe a scientific experiment, a sporting event or a menu. The type of language involved in each case will be different and, to this extent, we may talk of the language of science, the language of sports and the language of cookery, respectively. Each such language constitutes a distinct register with its peculiar language patterns. When we talk of ‘the English Language’, we are refereeing to a conglomeration of different registers of English, many which show a great degree of difference in phonology, grammar and vocabulary. Each register has associated with it, a characteristic set of lexical items. For example, there are lexical items such as ‘bestowed’, ‘incarnation’, ‘saviour’, ‘sanctify’, ‘beseech’ and ‘amen’, in religious register while lexemes like ‘nutmeg’, ‘saucepan’, ‘magi’, and ‘summer’ could be found in register of cookery.

I feel the best way to approach this topic is to first give those words (lexemes) that come under each register, and then you can create your lists of lexical items that could help you when describing objects and situations in your prose or essay.

BUILDING

Architect

Surveyor

Draughtsman

Plan

Upstairs

Bungalow

Two/Three storeys

Hamlet

Barracks

Cubicles

Estate

Wall

Concrete

Blocks

Bricks

Contractor

Bull-dozer

Tractor

Shovel

Scaffolding

Painting

Plastering

Lacerated sheets

Corrugated sheets

Steel

Locks

Tiles

Linoleum

Plumbers

Tenants

Landlord

Wiring

Roof

Decorator

Furniture

Lease

Land

Plot

Site

Designer

AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE

Cash Crops

Seeds

Plants

Insecticides

Fertilizer

Manure

Erosion

Flood

Plough

Hoe/Hoeing

Sow/Sowing

Pruning

Weeds

Crop-rotation

Soil

Humus

Sandy

Clay

Grains

Feeds

Poultry

Fodder

Tractor

Harvester

Pest

Livestock

Cereal

Legumes

Citrus

Cultivation

Arable

Pasture

 

 

 

FISHING

Boat

Under-water

Spear

Rope

Haul

Anglers

Rods

Reel

Float

Hock

Net

Dragnet

Sea

Sea-bed

Trawler

Drifters

Surface (of the sea)

 

 

 

      

 

 COMMERCE

Open (an account)

Saving

Debit

Withdraw/

Withdrawal

Credit

Current

Interest

Authority

Cheque (Open, crossed)

Pay/Save

Banker’s order

Garage

Motor Park

Invest/Investment

Balance

Part exchange

Annual Bill

Insurance

Deposit Account

Road Tax

Hire purchase

Loans

Expenditure

Company Account

Demand

Down payment

Supply

Capital

Joint Account

Labour

Running Cost

Project

Policy

Total Annual Income

Budget

Petty Trader

Tariffs

Goods

Retailers

Stock

Book keeping

Customers

Deficit

Wholesaler

Revenue

PHOTOGRAPHY

Phtotograph

Tripod

Camera

Focus

Film

Light meter

Distance

Keep still

Click

Dark-room

Develop

Negative

Post card

Prints

Reflection

COMMON MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES

Pottery

Thread

Wound

Clay (mud, earth)

Bake

Spindle

Oven

Textile

Kiln

Rope

Coil pot

Ribbon

Winding

Snake of clay

String

Smoothed

Distyl

Stir

Wheel

Ferment

Fired

Conduct

Painted

Condenser

Glazed

Trade-mark

Cotton

Wool

Distaff (spin on a …)

Spun

Woven/Weav

Loom

Warp

Shuttle

Weft

Dye

Patterns (s)

Dye

Run (Colour…)

Fast

PRINTING, PUBLISHING, THE PRESS AND LIBRARIES

Proof

Classification system

Manuscript

Catalogue

Publishing Firm

Fiction

Educational editor

Indexes

Author

Cross references

Non-fiction

Reader

Stories

Revision

Bibliography

Contract

Diary

Printer

Achieves

Critics

Space

Circulation

Counter

Newspaper

Ticket

Headline

Lending

Front page

In-stock

Back page

Cabinet

Lead article

Card-Index

Editorial comment

Drawers

Reports

Journals/ Journalist

Reader

Editor

Feature writer

Incident (s)

Topical Interest

Byline

Column

Competitor

Books

Classified Advertisement

Newspapers

Use the Library

 

SEA, ROAD AND AIR TRANSPORT

Jet

Express-way

Airliner

Check

Take/took off

Airliner

Passenger

Spare (Tyre or parts)

Runway

Jack

Tarmac

Charged

Aerodrome

Mechanic

Airport

Service

Undercarriage

Breakdown

Hover

Traffic

Pilot

Tariff

Land, -ing, -ed

Toll Gate

Hangar

Garage

Taxied

Hire purchase

Flight controller

Insurance

Control tower

Driving Licence

Banked

Motor License

Roped up

Haven

Coast

Disembarked

Crew/Passenger

Sailor

Waves

Voyage

Starboard

Harboard

Prow

Bridge

Cargo

Wharf

Mast

Pylon

Shelter/

hawser

Boarded/

bethed

Cabin

Life-jacket

Heave

Life boat

Bond-house

Beach

Quays

Hurricane

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Theocracy

Aristocracy

Bureaucracy

Democracy

Autocracy

Monarchical

Assembly

Senate

House of Lords

Commons

Representative

Parliament

Bill

A law

An Act

Minister

Common

Representative

Parliament

Bill

Minister (Prime)

President

Governor

Commissioner

Honourable

Majority

Councillor

Minotity

Draft

Election

Agents

Voters

Polls

Candidates

Constituencies

Slogans

Propaganda

Ballot

Choice

Campaign

Cast (Votes)

Booth

Box

Stations

Opponents

Defaming

Issue

Span

Run out

Dissolved

Commission

Manifestos

Motto

 

 

(FOREIGN POLITICS)

Credentials

Diplomat

Co-operation

Associate

Strained

Representative

High Commissioner

Attache

Broken

 

LEGAL REGISTER

Case

Lower/High Court

Presiding Judge

Plaintiff

Accused

Defendant

Defence

Compliant

Prosecution

Prosecutor

Witness

Hearing

Adjournment

Convicted

Assult

Plead (-ed)

Remand (-ed)

Rose

Session

Advocate

Barrister

Bar

Assizes

Justice

Jurors

Acquittal

Client

An exhibit

Deceased

Judiciaries

Luminaries

Curator

Counsellor

Confidant

 

SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENTS

Play

Theatre

Production (put on a ….)

Performance

Stage

Audience

Auditorium

Props (actors’ equipment)

Wings

 

Dressing room

Rehearsal

Practice

Row

Cast

Part (played)

Limes

Cues

Prompter

Script

Foot Lights

Ring

Punches

Ropes

Bell

Round

Blow

Belt

Foul

 

ELEMENTARY SCIENCE

Wireless

Radio set

Transmission/ Transmitter

Transistor

Radio set

Reception

Dials

Accelerator

Short wave

Channels

Cassette

Telephone

Television

Tape

Bands

Lubrication

Reports

Sound

Programmes

 

MEDICINE

Nurse

Pulse

Patients

Diagnose

Convalesce

Stethoscope

Trolley

Surgery/Surgical

Anampoule

Prescribed

Pathologist

Anatomist

Doctor

Beating

Symptoms

Trolley

Scalpels

Surgery/Surgical

Anaemia

Syringe

Prescribed

Specialist/consultant

Pathologist

Obs

Psychiatrist

             

 

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