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 becoming more 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

Writing based on place forms a particular interest. 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: