Task: Work assignment

Exercise 9 - Personal and Informal

Published: 20.05.2010, Updated: 30.03.2011

Read the  text below and answer the questions at the end.

Thomson Holiday Reviews

So you’ve read the brochure, seen the photos and it looks great. But what’s it really like? If you want to know what other holidaymakers think of your choice of hotel, resort or destination, then you’ve come to the right place.  Check out these honest holiday reviews from past travellers and get the low-down on the food, location and pretty much the whole shebang. You can also leave your holiday review once you’ve been there to help others make the right choice. So what are you waiting for?

Now’s your chance to tell it like it really is. Write a holiday review of a recent destination you’ve visited and let others in on what they have in store.

Adapted from a text at http:// www.thomson.co.uk/holiday-reviews


  1. What is the purpose of this text?
  2. What genre would you put the text in?
  3. Where would you place the style of this text on a scale from very formal (1) to very informal (5)?  Refer to examples from the text (both grammar and vocabulary) to justify your answer.
  4. Explain the exact meaning of low-down (line 4) and shebang (line 5)
  5. Write your personal review of a place you’ve visited for the benefit of others who are considering going to the same spot. It could be an established holiday resort or simply any place you’ve spent some time on holiday.


Suggested key
  1. The obvious purpose is to encourage holiday makers to write an honest review of a destination they have just been to, for the benefit of prospective travellers to the same spot. [Presumably the destination is one of Thomson’s own, but that is not made explicit.]

    The indirect purpose is to create positive publicity for the Thomson destinations, since they would probably not publish negative comments.
  2. The genre can be called an advertisement in disguise of a personal review/report.
  3. The text is written in a fairly informal style; we’d say 3-4 on the scale given. Evidence for this is
    • the personal approach: consistent use of you
    • the contracted forms: you’ve
    • the simple language in terms of word choice and grammar
    • the use of interactive sentence types which address the reader directly: cf. the questions: what’s it really like?, so what are you waiting for?
    • the informal expressions  low-down (= truth about something), the whole shebang (=everything), the phrasal verb let in on (= røpe noe).
  4.  See 3e above.
  5. No answer suggested.