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The Style of Official Documents

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CONSIDERING THAT TAC, with the assistance of such ad hoc subcommittees as it may find necessary to establish, will normally need about one week to carry out the task referred to in the resolution mentioned above, 

BEARING IN MIND the necessary consultations with the representatives of the participating organizations, 

1. ASKS the Secretary-General to seek to arrange each year the Pledging Conference which should be convened as early as possible taking due account of the factors involved; 

2. DECIDES that the Secretary-General should in future work on the assumption that in carrying out the functions of approving the programme and authorizing allocations as required by Economic and Social Council resolution 542(XVIII), the TAC will usually need to meet one week; 

3. REQUESTS further the Secretary-general to transmit these resolution to all States Members and non-members of the United Nations which participate in the Expanded Programme. 55 – 29330

16. THE STYLE OF OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS

There is one more style of language within the field of standard lit-

erary English which has become singled out, and that is the style

of official documents, or "officialese", as it is sometimes

called. As has already been pointed out, this FS is not homogeneous and

is represented by the following substyles or variants:

1) the language of business documents,

2) the language of legal documents,

3) that of diplomacy,

4) that of military documents.

Like other styles of language, this style has a definite communicative

aim and, accordingly, has its own system of interrelated language and

stylistic means. The main aim of this type of communication is to state

the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking. These parties may

be: the state and the citizen, or citizen and citizen; a society and its

members (statute or ordinance); two or more enterprises or bodies (busi-

ness correspondence or contracts); two or more governments (pacts, treat-

ies); a person in authority and a subordinate (orders, regulations, in-

structions, authoritative directives); a board or presidium and an assem-

bly or general meeting (procedures acts, minutes), etc.

The aim of communication in this style of language is to reach agree-

ment between two contracting parties. Even protest against violations

of statutes, contracts, regulations, etc, can also be regarded as a form

by which normal cooperation is sought on the basis of previously at-

tained concordance.

This most general function of the style of official documents predeter-

mines the peculiarities of the style. The most striking, though not the

most essential feature, is a special system of cliches, terms and set ex-

pressions by which each substyle can easily be recognized, for example:

I beg to inform you, I beg to move, I second the motion, provisional agenda,

the above-mentioned, hereinafter named, on behalf of, private advisory, Dear

Sir, We remain, your obedient servants.

In fact, each of the subdivisions of this style has its own peculiar

terms, phrases and expressions which differ from the corresponding terms.

phrases and expressions of other variants of this style. This in finance

we find terms like extra revenue, taxable capacities, liability to profit tax.

Terms and phrases like high contracting parties, to ratify an agreement,

memorandum, pact, Charge d'affaires, protectorate, extra-territorial status,

plenipotentiary will immediately brand the utterance as diplomatic.

In legal language, examples are: to deal with a case; summary procedure;

a body of judges; as laid down in.

Likewise, other varieties of official language have their special no-

menclature, which is conspicuous in the text and therefore easily discern-

ible as belonging to the official language style.

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In other words, the aim of communication in this style of language is to reach agreement between two contracting parties. Even protest against violations of statutes, contracts, regulations, etc., can also be regarded as a form by which normal cooperation is sought on the basis of previously attained concordance.
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