On the Notions of 'Style' and 'Stylistics'
In different situations of communication people use different manners of expressing their thoughts, which, in the Russian linguistic tradition, are usually called styles or functional styles (функциональные стили), and in the linguistic tradition abroad – registers of speech (регистры речи). Stylistics is a branch of linguistics that studies the various functional styles of speech and also the various expressive means and devices (экспрессивные средства и приемы) of language. Apart from that, some linguists apply the term 'stylistics' to the study of various stylistic peculiarities of the language of works of fiction (стилистика художественной речи).
The distinction between a lofty style and a low style of speech (высокий и низкий стили) was put forward as far back as in the 18th century by Michail Lomonosov. However, stylistics as a special branch of linguistics was singled out only towards the middle of the 20th century. Academician V. V. Vinogradov was among the first linguists to describe the different styles of speech in respect to their functions (= aims). He distinguished, in particular: