Informal language

nformal language is mainly used between people who know each other well, or in relaxed and unofficial contexts.

Here are some examples of informal English words and their standard equivalents:

standard English informal
attractive fit
clothes gear, threads
criminal crook
criticize lay into
home digs, pad
eat scarf down
drink guzzle

As a rule, it's best to avoid informal vocabulary in most standard written contexts: it wouldn't be a good idea to use it in job applications, for example, or in a report:

They laid into the government for failing to allocate enough funding.

They criticized the government for failing to allocate enough funding.

Informal language also includes taboo vocabulary, often labeled as vulgar slang in dictionaries or thesauruses. This typically refers to sex or bodily functions and, since many people are likely to find such terms offensive or shocking, they should generally be avoided.

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Grammar and usage