But the main characters themselves are not credible, with their mythic passions, expressed in diction more formal and flowery than would ever issue from a boy of the slums and a girl from the world of pampered inanity.
-- Rhoda Koenig, "Rio Is Rich," New York, 1994
But wise men pierce this rotten diction and fasten words again to visible things; so that picturesque language is at once a commanding certificate that he who employs it is a man in alliance with truth and God.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature," 1836
Diction stems from the Latin dīcere meaning "to say." The term entered English in the early 1400s.