In Communication Linguistics the words genre and register are used interchangeably. Genre or register reflects what we know about, and do with, language in specific situations in a particular culture. We talk about genre/register as a potential in terms of the ways it encodes the relationships involved in the situation (Generic Situation) and culture (Communicator’s Communicating Context). Register encodes the representational (field), interactional (personal tenor), medium (mode) and functional relationships at risk in the generic situation, by means of the systems of language that realize experiential, interpersonal and textual meanings in the discourse. We know how to encode various registers in particular situations in a given culture because we have knowledge of both the relationships and purposes involved in such communicative situations and the codal resources that are available to encode them. Both types of knowledge, available to us through personal experience and secondary accounts of such experience, are stored in our gnostology. In this sense, language is both a social and cognitive phenomenon. It is socially and culturally appropriate (or not, as the case may be), and cognitively informed. Although communication linguists talk of register as non-instantial , or potential , in terms of the relevant knowledge available to them as encoders which enables them to interact in a great variety of communicative situations, they also use register to describe the discourse in instantial , or actual , communicative situations. Once they have analyzed a text multi-stratally (lexically, semologically, syntactically etc.) and tri-functionally (experientially, interpersonally and textually), they are able to describe the text as an instance of a particular register with its predictable reoccurring patterns. When the analyst has completed an analysis of a specific text, she compares it to the expectations she held of its register, based on those generalizations stored in her gnostology. This enables her to discuss whether the text under consideration is a predictable unmarked instance of the register or an unpredictable marked instance of the register. It also enables her to refine her understanding of the particular register, which she subsequently adds to her gnostological awareness for future comparison. Further analyses increase the sophistication with which the analyst understands the intricacies of registerial configurations. The form of analysis introduced by communication linguists Gregory and Malcolm in the eighties, called phasal analysis, has proven of great value in probing the linguistic composition of both literary and non-literary discourse (1981/95). Phases describe the dynamic instantiation of registerial consistency on a micro-level. Over years of exploration, Malcolm has used phase and phasal analysis to come up with a replicable and exhaustive approach to mapping the discoursal structure that results from the continual, albeit intermittent, fluctuations of such polyregisters as casual conversation (1985, 1986). In the last few years she has redefined a traditional tool with which to investigate complex registers: rhetorical strategies . In her exploration of literary discourse she found that authors seemed to alternate passages of description, narration, dialogue and interior monologue in various ways, and to various degrees, depending on the particular genre they were encoding e.g. science fiction, romances, thrillers etc. Multi-stratal and tri-functional analyses reveal that the character of each of these rhetorical strategies is quite distinct. Such linguistically-specific strategic identities enable the analyst to see very clearly how an author develops one register differently than another. Elements of description and narration, for instance, are kept quite separate (pages apart) in some genres of literary discourse, while they are intertwined in others, even within the same sentence. The value of using rhetorical strategy as a tool to probe the nature of literary genres has motivated her exploration of the rhetorical strategies that develop non-literary discourse. There are, of course, many more rhetorical strategies used in non-literary discourse: comparison, classification, cause and effect, problem-solution, to name a few. And these are not necessarily as stylistically distinct, nor as consistent, as those used in literary fiction. Some seem to operate more in broader structural ways than the consistent linguistic combinations of the literary strategies. However, it would appear that rhetorical strategies offer the analyst a valuable tool, in addition to phase, with which to explore the intricacies of register.