Language and Writing

This section starts from the belief that language is structured by social processes and systems; and that language, in turn, structures thinking and social decision-making. The fluid, flexible and ambiguous nature of English lends it well to negotiating understandings and creating misunderstandings. The rich opportunities within spoken English are one thing. Once things get written down there is scope for ideas being formulated, fixed, archived. How language gets used in the world can underwrite a number of social puzzles.

Writing, and its interpretation through reading, is both an interest and an occupation. It is also a focus of learning, a source of information, a research process and a topic for exploration. I use language and I write: it is part of who I am.

This section??acts as a repository for??a variety of writings, in a variety of formats, undertaken for a variety of reasons. Further thoughts on approaches to writing can be read on the blog at

The following??four descriptions link to ebooks available via Amazon:

Made in Birmingham: The Poems

This??relates to??a number of poems written to promote??poetry to new readers. They were written in a range of lengths and styles. Some are meant to be taken quite lightly; others are meant to be lingered over. A selection of the poems??is offered here as a taster. The full set is available as an e-book at the Amazon site.

Made in Birmingham: The Tales

This??relates to??a number of very short fictional ???tales??? told to an imaginary researcher. They capture fragments of the lives of each narrator, told??from their own unique perspective.?? A selection is offered here as a taster. The full set is available as an e-book at the Amazon site. The ‘tales’ are??also used as an imagined account of social research within the ‘Sides and Edges’??article in the People and Society section.

It’s Murder on the Eleven

The Number 11 bus route??runs a??26 mile outer circle route that takes in many of Birmingham’s suburbs. This murder mystery is set around this bus route. When bus drivers start to be killed, passenger Gail decides to get to the bottom of things in her own unique way.The story is available as an e-book from the Amazon site. You can read this story anywhere – but you could also visit Birmingham (UK), sit on the Number 11 bus for a couple of hours and read the story as you go round………..

Another Glorious Day

Sam is contained in a box.??It wasn???t what he had planned.??It wasn???t what he would have wanted yet there he is, alone with himself and his thoughts and his memories. Another Glorious Day is a gripping story about resilience, truth, family and language. Will he survive???Will he escape???Will it all become too much for him???Find out by downloading the e-book from the Amazon site.


Writing based on place forms??a particular interest.There is extensive literature on the nature of place, locality, neighbourhood etc – drawing on geography, sociology, economics, politics and psychology. Of particular interest is the growing volume of work on cities and their influence. Where these stimulate thoughts they are likely to appear in the Place and Locality section of this site.

Writing and place have been integrally linked in a number of other ways. Poets have written in response to particular locations; novels have been set in specific settings; writers have often had their favourite writing places; places have had writers-in-residence. This Language and Writing??section of The Word’s the Thing will explore the wider possibilities around linking ‘writing’ and ‘place’ and ‘writing about place’?? via both fiction and non-fiction.

The content of this section goes beyond the particular interest with place and takes in a wider range of articles. Currently in this section are: