Every person have some differences with people around him. From eating habits to dressing, everyone has some quite unique feature. The same is the case with individual language use. Every individual have some idiosyncratic linguistic features in his or her use of language. These personal linguistic features are known as Idiolect. David crystal in his Dictionary of Linguistics and phonetics defines Idiolect as:
“[Idiolect] refers to Linguistic system of an individual—one’s personal dialect”.
The totality of speech habit of a single person at a given some constitutes unideolict. That is each individual’s language unique add peculiar to himself is called him ‘idiolect’. Idiolect is a variety of language used by one single speaker. It has its own peculiarities of pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. A dialect is made of idiolects of group of speakers in society or a speech community. Different dialects are divided into different group of speakers. Some groups are small and some are big. The dialect spoken by the largest group and takes the shape of a language on the other hands, the lower limit of a dialect comes down to the individual speaker. And for this term ‘idiolect’ is coined it style.
From language, we come down to dialect and from dialect still we come down to idiolect. But still we have not reached the end of linguistic sub divisions. Each individual speech habits vary according to the different situations he is in and the different roles he is playing at any time in society. We can readily distinguish the different types of speech used by the same person in intimate family circles, among strangers and with persons of different social positions. A family letter is quite different from a business later. In a formal lecture, the sequence of word, “The author to whom I was referring is quite proper. While in an unofficial conversation, the sequence, “The author who I was referring” is quite proper. This linguistic difference is know as ‘style’.
Varieties according to attitude are called ‘style’. The mode of speech of the speaker depends upon his attitude to the hearer. The style could be stiff, formal, cold on one hand, and relaxed, informal, warm, friendly on the other. That way, we have two main varieties of style ‘formal’ and ‘informal’. Today some linguists have added third type of style which they call ‘neutral’.
It is difficult to define style. Style is like ‘personality’ and other abstract terms. Personality in man is the ultimate mystery, the ultimate justification. It is the essences of aesthetic pleasure. Style is maze. It is difficult to tell how one cultivates style. It is equally difficult to say whether style is the man or his work, his body, his heart or his soul. Emerson says, “A man’s style is his minds’ voice’ Longinus observes, “Elevation of style is the echo of a great soul. Carlyle calls it he skin and not more coat. Style or expression is very important in the study of language while reading a book, though we do not know the writer’s name, we may say that so and so must have written that. Thus we more familiar with the way of expression than with the subject mater. The writer’s individual qualities of style are his choice of words, phrases, structure, sentences, their rhythm and cadence. Thus style is a personal quality. Poe calls it ‘dress of thought’. That way he means that style is apart form man and the writer can put on or take it off at his free will. But Poe forget the organic character of style. Carlyle right calls it the skin of the writer. Every writers has something really personal to say and he always says it in a really personal way. If he expression his thoughts and feelings in someone else’s way, he can never produce something great and effective. The style is the shadow of his inward world. His use of language differs form the common use of language. It is shows that there is close relation between writers’ personality and his settle. But a careful study of is style, we can know about his education and the influence of great writers upon him. We can also known about his changing outlook upon the world and its problems. Thus style is really an index of writer’s personality.
Thus style has close relation wit time, place and situation. So it is difficult to separate style form context. The word’ round belongs to five classes, noun in ‘one round is enough’ verb ‘you round the bend.
Dialects are the varieties of language according to users. Registers are the varieties of language according to use. Registers are stylistics functional varieties of a dialect or language. These may be narrowly defined by reference to subject matter that is field of discourse. E.g. jargon of horse racing, jargon of fishing gambling, sports etc. it may be according to medium. Mode of discourse such as printed material, written letter, messages on tape etc. or to level of formality that is style or manner of discourse. Registers are therefore situationally conditioned, field of discourse oriented varieties of language. A register is also determined by the medium or mode of discourse. The main distinction is between speech and writing but within speech one may have such distinctions as conversation, discussion, debate, talk and lecture. And in writing we may have distinctions like a personal letter. Memoir, a biography, and autobiography, a poem to be read, a speech to be read aloud and a play to be performed on a stage and so on. Registers may be classified on the basis of style. We may talk of religion in a temple before the audience of old persons or at seminar with scholars or in a restaurant with friends. But it is difficult to draw a sharp dividing line between the two axis of register and style.