This is inspired by a few things that have been breaking my immersion when reading Worm.
The main protagonist is a teen, and most chapters are first-person POV, so grammatical casualness fits. I don't expect her to use subjunctive, and her use of "anyways" was (I thought) a great way to indicate that she was a high school sophomore.
But then authority figures ALSO used "anyways" in formal communication. No one uses subjunctive. There doesn't seem to be that slight code-switching tone difference with the "adults" when talking to each other at coffee vs sharing information in a meeting.
Is this just something to specifically proofread for, highlighting dialogue/thoughts by certain characters, and revising them all in a specific tone-swoop? How do you learn what elements help change that tone?
(I know if your character is a physicist, you have to look up enough physics to communicate the science effectively, but language use of a character pervades all their thoughts and dialogue, especially in workplace settings. One doesn't have to be an English major to have this code-switching behavior, or varying levels of formalism: mere exposure to higher-level readings (like academic journals) would have an effect.)
I don't intend to knock this author -- I've been reading his works for millions of words! And I know we're basically reading his first-drafts, due to his production choices. I just try to learn what catches my eye/ear as a reader, so I can change that in my own writing. (And yes, I have tone problems too -- often too casual for professional, but too formal for quick communications. And my writing is 100% middle-class white, so I know I'd need an editor of a different background to have better code-switching to show other types of family life, for example.)
Not a duplicate of Writing the dialogues of characters who are much smarter than you because that's about "pure" IQ, and my question is more about characters who would realistically have had more formal education than the author.