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Frozen Register

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Frozen Register

In a conversation, we often change how we speak depending on the person we are talking to. For example, you would probably talk to your friends differently than if you were to talk to a stranger. One way we do this is by changing our register. But what is a register?

Register refers to the different ways we use language depending on the situation and who we talk to. Register typically refers to how formal or informal our language is. For example, we would use more formal language in serious or professional settings (such as in school or at work), but we would use more informal language when we have a chat with our close friends.

There are six different types of register, which are as follows:

1. Frozen

2. Formal

3. Consultative

4. Neutral

5. Informal/Casual

6. Intimate

Today, we will focus on frozen.

Frozen Register Definition

Let's begin by looking at the meaning of frozen:

A frozen register means that the type of language used has not changed over time, and will remain the same in the future. This means that the words stay the same every time they are spoken or written. It is like they have been frozen in time!

The frozen register is often used for official and serious purposes (such as for legal matters or religious reasons). Because of this, it tends to use standard grammar and vocabulary, and full sentences. But, this is not always the case. For example, songs and poems are examples of a frozen register but can include more informal elements and non-standard language (such as abbreviations or slang).

The frozen register can also contain archaic language. This refers to old-fashioned words or phrases that were commonly used in the past, but are not commonly used today. For example, the word 'thou', which means 'you.' This word was used a lot by Shakespeare!

The frozen register is also referred to as a static register.

Frozen Synonym

The word frozen can have different meanings. When we talk about frozen language in English, we do not mean this type of frozen!

Frozen Image of ice cubes StudySmarterThe frozen register has nothing to do with temperature! Pixabay

Instead, we mean that the language used is fixed, so is not expected to change over time.

Here are some synonyms of the word frozen. These will help you to understand the meaning of a frozen register, as all of these words have similar meanings:

  • unchangeable

  • fixed

  • suspended

  • held (in place)

  • controlled

  • regulated

  • preserved

Opposite Of Frozen

We know some synonyms for the word 'frozen', but what about antonyms (the opposite)?

The opposite of frozen, in this context, is:

Changeable

The frozen register is the only type of register that contains unchangeable language. The other registers, whether they are formal or informal, are all changeable. This means that they don't have to be recited or memorised in a certain way.

Frozen Register Examples

The frozen register can be found in many official or formal texts. This includes reciting religious and legal texts, such as:

  • The Lord's Prayer
  • The right to silence
  • Exchange of vows

Let's look at these in more detail!

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer is the most well-known prayer in Christianity.

"Our Father, who art in heaven,hallowed be thy name;thy kingdom come;thy will be done;on earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us.And lead us not into temptation;but deliver us from evil.For thine is the kingdom,the power and the glory,for ever and ever.Amen."

Whenever this prayer is recited, the wording stays the same. You may also notice the archaic language - some of the words used are not commonly used in conversations today. For example:

  • Art means 'are.'

  • Thy means 'your.'

  • Thine means 'yours.'

The archaic language used in historical texts like this prayer can help us to understand how language evolves. It not only preserves the historical traditions of the past, but also shows how language has changed over time.

The right to silence

This is a police caution, used by the police in England and Wales. It is read to people who have been arrested and gives them the right to refuse to answer questions.

You do not have to say anything. But, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

The US version of the right to silence is called the Miranda warning.

Exchange of vows

Vows are exchanged when people get married, to promise a lifelong commitment to one another. They can be different depending on your religion, country, and culture. In the Church of England, the typical Anglican vow is as follows:

‘I, [name], take you, [name]

to be my [wife/husband],

to have and to hold

from this day forward;

for better, for worse,

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish,

till death us do part,

according to God’s holy law.

In the presence of God I make this vow.’

The wording of this vow can vary slightly, but the main idea remains the same.

DID YOU KNOW: Originally, the vow was only said by the wife as a promise to obey her husband. Can you think of why this has changed in today's society?

Frozen Image of wedding rings StudySmarterWedding vows are an example of the frozen register as they typically don't change much over time, Pixabay

Frozen Register Sample Title and Author

The frozen register can also be found in other texts such as:

  • Poems
  • Songs

These are examples of the frozen register because the language used stays the same whenever they are recited or sung. They are not always as formal as the previous examples, so can often use more casual and personal language.

Frozen - Key Takeaways

  • A frozen register means that the type of language used has not changed over time, and will remain the same in the future.
  • A frozen register contains language that stays the same whenever it is spoken or written.
  • The frozen register is often used for official and serious purposes, such as legal or religious matters. But this is not always the case (e.g. songs and poems).

  • The frozen register can also contain archaic language (words that were commonly used in the past, but are not commonly used today).

  • Some examples of the frozen register are: The Lord's Prayer, the right to silence, exchange of vows, poems and songs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Frozen Register

Frozen language is language that is unchangeable.

A few examples of a frozen register are:


The Lord's Prayer

The right to silence

Exchange of vows

There are six registers of language. These are:


1. Frozen

2. Formal 

3. Consultative

4. Neutral

5. Informal/Casual

6. Intimate

The Preamble to the Constitution is an example of the frozen register.

There are six registers of language. These are:


1. Frozen

2. Formal 

3. Consultative

4. Neutral

5. Informal/Casual

6. Intimate

Final Frozen Register Quiz

Question

A frozen register contains language that can be changed.


True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

A frozen register means that the type of language used has ___________ over time.

Show answer

Answer

not changed

Show question

Question

The frozen register is often used for official and serious purposes.


True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an example of the frozen register?

Show answer

Answer

Wedding vows

Show question

Question

Which of the following is not an example of the frozen register?

Show answer

Answer

Emails

Show question

Question

The frozen register can contain old-fashioned language that is no longer commonly used. What is this type of language called?

Show answer

Answer

Archaic language 

Show question

Question

The frozen register is also referred to as what?

Show answer

Answer

Static register

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an antonym for 'frozen'?

Show answer

Answer

changeable

Show question

Question

Which of the following is a synonym for 'frozen'?

Show answer

Answer

unchangeable

Show question

Question

The frozen register can often contain archaic language. An example of this is the word 'thy'. What does this mean?

Show answer

Answer

your

Show question

Question

The frozen register can often contain archaic language. An example of this is the word 'thine'. What does this mean?

Show answer

Answer

yours

Show question

Question

The frozen register can often contain archaic language. An example of this is the word 'art'. What does this mean?

Show answer

Answer

are

Show question

Question

Fill in the blanks:


The 'right to silence' is an example of the frozen register. Who reads it?

Show answer

Answer

The police

Show question

Question

When using the frozen register, the language _________ every time it is recited.

Show answer

Answer

stays the same

Show question

Question

Songs and poems are not examples of the frozen register.


True or false?

Show answer

Answer

False

Show question

Question

What does 'register' mean in English Language?

Show answer

Answer

Register refers to the different ways we use language depending on the situation and who we talk to. 

Show question

Question

What does 'register' often refer to?

Show answer

Answer

The formality of the language used.

Show question

Question

What are the five other types of register apart from the frozen register?

Show answer

Answer

  • Formal 
  • Consultative
  • Neutral
  • Informal/Casual
  • Intimate

Show question

Question

True or false, religious language is often in the frozen register.

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

Give an example of a religious language that uses the frozen register.

Show answer

Answer

Any from this list, or your own ideas:


  • The Bible
  • The Lord's Prayer (or any other set prayer)
  • wedding vows if it is a religious ceremony


Show question

Question

What kind of grammar does the frozen register typically use?

Show answer

Answer

Standard

Show question

Question

The work of which famous writer includes many examples of the frozen resister? 

Show answer

Answer

Shakespeare

Show question

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