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In other words, what kind of language-use (independent of content) makes the audience think more highly of the speaker’s qualifications and intellect?

I am aware that the answer will heavily depend on the type of audience. Clearly, what sways a laymen audience will be different from what sways an audience full of experts on the topic being discussed.

I am looking for formal academic studies, rather than anecdotal examples or opinions. Thank you!

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    You could start with this BBC article - it has lots of usefuls links and it's a good summary of most relevant research studies bbc.com/worklife/article/…
    – Alex B.
    Mar 10 at 18:23
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    You could, if you trust BBC Science. They are hopelessly confused and notoriously wrong, especially about anything having to do with language.
    – jlawler
    Aug 7 at 15:59
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There is a lot of research on registers of a language, and features of the scientific register in contrast to other registers have been given by a lot of authors. There are studies for different languages, not only English, in this respect.

Of course, this kind of research does not really answer question in the title: The audience is probably able to recognise the scientific register, but does it infer smartness from that?

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