Tone of text is the mood or attitude that an author or speaker conveys with word choice and wording. This includes selection of words and phrases, grammar and other elements of wording such as viewpoint. This is used in storytelling, public speaking, writing and conversation where tone of text acts can act as a social cue. The following are common examples of tone of text followed by a few more concrete examples.
Matter-of-factShe's over there.
Professional / InformalI believe the service manager is in the office, would you like me to get her for you?
FormalThe service manager? May I have your name? Do you have an appointment?
AntagonisticShe's not to be disturbed. Do you have an appointment? How did you get in here?
CalmThe service manager, certainly, let me find out for you. Please take a seat if you like.
Sarcastic / Passive AggressiveI suppose you want to complain to her because you have some urgent and unique problem that requires special attention. Let me call her.
AttentiveCertainly Sir, let me locate her immediately and bring her to you.
HonestOh she's probably taking a long lunch today, it's our coworker's birthday so they will probably be gone for at least three hours. We usually have long lunches and stuff on Fridays so Monday is probably a better time to come in.
IndifferentShe's not here.
InquisitiveI'm sorry, she's not here at the moment. Can I take your name? Are you one of her clients? Was she expecting you? Did you have questions or just a visit?
NonsensicalShe might have been over there but that's just what I had perceived earlier before the cake.
ObjectiveLet me check for you and I will let you know.
OminousOh no [active silence] she's not here, did you hear about all that has happened? [active silence] It's terrible.
OptimisticShe's not here but I'm sure that she's likely to return at any moment. Would you mind waiting a few minutes?
PatronizingShe's busy. You could have booked an appointment with her as opposed to just showing up and expecting her to be free.
Pragmatic / FlexibleShe's in a meeting. If it is urgent I could try to interrupt the meeting. Alternatively, you could wait or leave a message.
UnsympatheticShe's not here, I don't know where she is and I don't know when she'll be back.
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