Literary Essays Negative Tones
Tone of voice is the way we tell our users how feel about our message, too.Despite the importance of tone, advice about it tends to be vague: “Be consistent. Be unique.” So, we wondered, what are the broader qualities that make up a tone?A quick Google search for “tone-of-voice words” will surface lists of hundreds of words used to describe literary tones.(Most of them come from websites for undergraduate English courses).Read the following two sentences:“The woman slammed the door behind her, threw her bag on the floor and slumped into a kitchen chair, where she poured herself a much-needed glass of wine.”***“The woman closed the door behind her, hung up her bag and perched herself in a kitchen chair, where she poured herself a well-deserved glass of wine.” The first sentence uses words with negative connotation—slammed, threw, slumped, much-needed; giving the feeling that the woman had a difficult day.The second uses positive and neutral—closed, hung up, perched, much-deserved—giving the feeling that the woman had a long but successful day.Certain situations may call for words with a positive connotation, i.e.
Therefore, words are essentially chosen based on their connotation.
You’ll quickly notice that most of those words have very specific meanings and connotations (e.g., “vexed” or “cynical”), and couldn’t be used to describe the tones of many (if any) websites.
You’ll also notice that many of these lists are huge, some with hundreds of words.
We decided to design a manageable web-specific tool that content strategists could use to create simple tone profiles for a company’s online presence.
Our goal was to identify several tone-of-voice dimensions that could be used to describe the tone of voice of any website. We then eliminated any words that wouldn’t be realistic content goals for normal websites (like “guilty”).