à la, blasé, démodé

thanhdatpham

Member
Vietnamese
  • à la, blasé, démodé <-----Edited to add words in question to post----->
Hi everyone !
Are the above English words with French origins considered formal? Can I apply them to formal and academic essay?
Thank a lot
 
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  • RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Hi everyone !
    Are the above English words with French origins considered formal? Can I apply them to formal and academic essay?
    Thank a lot
    I certainly wouldn't call hi everyone formal language.

    Or did you mean the words which are in your subject line but do not appear in your actual post?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    They're simply French terms that have entered English; they're neither "formal" nor "informal".

    (Next time, remember to put the subject of your question in your post, not just in the title.)
     

    jarabina

    Senior Member
    English - Scotland
    I would probably not recommend using any of these in academic writing. It is possible that there may be some academic contexts in which it might be possible, but generally I would avoid. Academic writing has strict conventions.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree, for the most part, with jarabina.

    I can't imagine any academic contexts in which à la or démodé would be necessary or advisable.

    Blasé however, seems to me to be a different beast. It's been integrated into English to the extent that it no longer seems particularly French - rather like café.

    So I would say: don't use à la or démodé in your thesis; do use blasé if it's the word you need to express your meaning:).
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    • à la, blasé, démodé <-----Edited to add words in question to post----->
    Hi everyone !
    Are the above English words with French origins considered formal? Can I apply them to formal and academic essay?
    Thank a lot
    'à la' is often used in playful contexts. It has meaning, but it's wholly unsuited to any formal academic writing.
    As to the other two, I see no reason for not using them in the way you mention, but depending on the discipline, some uses may be more in keeping than others.
    For example, I can't imagine they would serve you well in maths or physics.
    Do you have a more specific context in mind? We like sentences here - words in context. (Cross-posted with Loob)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    'à la' on its own is meaningless. It only has meaning as part of a phrase. Probably its commonest use in English is 'a la carte', in restaurants not noted for their playfulness, but possibly notable for their unwillingness to use the grave over the 'a'. It is also frequently used in phrases such as in the sentence "I would be the first to admit that I was amazed, enlightened and then staggered by some of the intricacies of the local income tax a la the Liberal Democrats." That from Hansard, the written record of the proceedings of Parliament, not a place noted for its frivolity and fun.

    There is no reason for thanhdatpham to avoid using phrases beginning 'a la', provided that they are relevant and appropriate to the topic being discussed. However, in most cases 'in the style of' or 'in the manner of' is likely to be preferable. If the document was about menus and restaurants it would be foolish to try to replace 'a la carte' with a contrived English substitute.
     

    thanhdatpham

    Member
    Vietnamese
    All right, I used to think that using some "unique" words, some words with French origins for example, would increase my writing mark. It turned out to be not. Right, thank everyone.
     
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