• Bag

    "BOOKS ARE MY BAG" is a nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops. This collaboration between publishers, bookshops and authors is the biggest ever promotion of bookshops. 56% of all book buying decisions are made by consumers in a bookshop and high street bookshops (both chains and independents) still account for almost 40% of books bought by consumers. Yet, many high street bookshops are under threat. The bags [specially designed by leading British artist Tracey Emin] are exclusively available from chain and independent bookshops nationwide, offering booklovers a platform to express their support for their local stores." The slogan (= "Books are the thing I really like") is based on a slang expression - "It's (not) my bag" dating back to the 1960s. The online Urban Dictionary suggests that the origin of the expression could have been a reduced version of "It's not my cup of tea" via "It's not my teabag", but this seems highly unlikely.

    Location: St Benedict's Street, Norwich, Norfolk, UK (with acknowledgments to http://www.booksaremybag.com/ and thanks to the book-lover who allowed me to photograph her and her bag!)

  • berrytastic

    Derived from poptastic (a blend of pop and fantastic, originally according to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘denoting a very good piece of pop music’, but now applied to any positive experience) this secondary adaptation describing a fruit drink  has added  -tastic to berry as though it was a suffix.

    Location: Outside a juice bar on Lower Goat Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

  • Grow

    The use of grow as a transitive verb with objects other than plants and beards goes back to the 16th century. It had long fallen into disuse, but was revived in the early 1990s, when during his US presidential campaign Bill Clinton promised to “grow the economy”. Now commonly used in commercial jargon with objects such as ‘business’, ‘organisation’ etc, it is nicely chosen for this advertising space, one of a number where local businesses sponsor floral displays around the city. The sceond photograph shows how widespread this use of the verb has become. 

    Outside Norwich Railway Station & Guildhall Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

  • Aerotoxic

    Excellent outline of a piece of genre writing from the Aerotoxic organisation who have an office a couple of doors up from NILE.

    Background >> problem >> possible solutions >> preferred solution

    (right click on the image and open in a new tab to see full size)

    Classroom tasks:

    • Flesh out the outline into an essay
    • Research the possible solutions and argue for one of the others as the preferred one
    • Identify your own problem, suggest possible solutions and select your preferred one. Present it in outline form inititally, get feedback on it from classmates, then write up the whole essay including their feedback.

    Aerotoxic context

    Upper St Giles Street, Norwich

  • Guerrilla Posters

    I am hooked on guerrilla posters (ready-made graffiti that you stick to a wall). They exemplify a phenomenon where the image and the words convey the opposite meanings for heightened effect. As a rhetorical device, this is called enantiosis . Can you find any other examples? Here are a few from Norwich:


     Upper/Lower Goat lanes, Norwich

  • loadsa

    An orthographic representation of a frequently heard pronunciation /lʊədzə/ of loads of [= a lot of], given nationwide currency in the 1980s by a stand-up comedy act in which the performer, Harry Enfield, appeared in the character of a builder and plasterer who flaunted large bundles of banknotes and whose catchphrase became the name that audiences knew him by – Loadsamoney.

    Royal Arcade, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

  • NILE's CELTA Centre Manager Maria Heron was one of the first students to complete the MA with NILE and The University of Chichester. Her hard work earned her a well-deserved Distinction, and here, she shares her personal MA experience.

    Embarking on an MA when already well into my fifties was not an easy decision, especially as I hadn’t done any serious academic work since completing my Delta in the mid-80s.  However, a thirst for learning and working at the institution where the MA is run finally tipped the scales and I took the plunge into the unknown.Read more...

  • B-B-Q

    The source of this very common abbreviation for barbecue was evidently the homophone that links the letter Q to the final syllable of the full word. The abbreviation is largely confined to the written form, which read aloud would probably still be said as /bɑːbɪkjuː/ Norwich Market, Norwich, Norfolk UK

  • Britain Wins Gold!

    This social commentary on the London Olympics/ Commonwealth Games uses positive language to highlight a major social issue in the UK. Which unexpected social issues might your country win gold in?

    Corner Pottergate and Lower Goat Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, UK



  • Vegging out

    It’s clear from the context that this is an abbreviation of vegetables. The abbreviation is probably more common in spoken English than the full word. For example, the now rather outdated description of typically unimaginative English cuisine is “Meat and two veg”. Norwich Market, Norwich, Norfolk, UK