DSAE test file

informal, adjective

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special senses of general English informal not according to order, not observing forms.
1. Of economic and business activity:
a. In the special collocation informal sector, a euphemism for those (such as street traders and hawkers) involved in tax-free trading not covered by normal business legislation; that part of the economy to which such traders belong. Cf. formal sector (see formal sense 1 b). See also spaza.
1980 D.B. Coplan Urbanization of African Performing Arts. 142Gradually these rural-based peasant marginals were joined by urban proletarians drawn from the informal sectors of the economy.
1991 Bulletin (Centre for Science Dev.) Mar. 6Many early studies of the informal sector suggest that it might provide an adequate and secure alternative income to employment...People enter the informal sector out of necessity rather than from choice.
b. Outside the conventional legal and economic structures of (Western) society. Cf. formal sense 1 a.
1990 Weekly Mail 21 Sept. 9Some desperate people among the newly unemployed turn to crime as their ‘informal’ alternative for making a living.
1991 Bulletin (Centre for Science Dev.) Vol.3, 6The more successful informal operators had access to the formal wage of a family member.
2. Of settlements and shelters:
Note:
Often a euphemism for ‘squatter’. Cf. squatter camp (see squatter sense 3).
a. Of settlements (frequently in the collocation informal settlement): erected in an unregulated and unplanned manner upon unproclaimed land, with no infrastructure provided by the local authority. See also shackland.
1989 Optima Vol.37 No.1, 19Informal settlement is a generic term used to describe a wide variety of different forms of shelter. Informal settlers differ in respect of the length of time they have been in their present location..; the size of their settlement; their location..;..the nature of their shack (corrugated iron, breeze block, lean-to against a formal house)...The Urban Foundation estimates that the number of urban people living in informal circumstances is some seven million. Throughout the country formal black residential areas are overcrowded and further population growth..will have to be accommodated mainly in free standing informal settlements.
1991 T. Van der Walt in Sunday Times 10 Mar. 7Mr P— is able to pinpoint every informal settlement in the Durban area.
b. Of housing: owner-built, made of a variety of unsubstantial materials. Cf. formal sense 2.
1991 A. Benjamin in Daily News 26 Mar. 26Less formal townships are in fact squatter communities (‘informal housing’ and ‘orderly urbanisation’ are the other ways of putting it).
1994 B. Monk in Weekend Post 8 Oct. 4Dwellings erected along the coast included a mix of formal and informal structures apparently built by both blacks and whites from within and outside Transkei.
a euphemism for those (such as street traders and hawkers) involved in tax-free trading not covered by normal business legislation; that part of the economy to which such traders belong.
Outside the conventional legal and economic structures of (Western) society.
erected in an unregulated and unplanned manner upon unproclaimed land, with no infrastructure provided by the local authority.
owner-built, made of a variety of unsubstantial materials.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

19801994