• 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

  • 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

  • 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


  • Brambles in Norwich - Linguistic Landscapes

    Rules for life in a shop window.

    What are your mantras for living?

    Brambles, Exchange Street, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

  • My kind of peoples

    Phrasal adjectives are supposed to be hyphenated. Guess the people at Oxfam didn’t care about that when they made up this poster. I prefer it without the hyphens too: makes it cleaner and easier to read. What kind of peoples are you? Decode that Mr. Grammarman ;)

    Location: St. Giles Street, Norwich

    It takes all sorts in context

  • Drinks Not Drunks

    A polite way of warning customers who have already had too much to drink that they won’t be served.

    The notice works because serve is one of those interpersonal verbs that can take both a direct object and an indirect one, though the drunks probably won’t be clear-headed enough to get the point!

    Location: Louis Deli, Upper St Giles Street, Norwich, Norfolk, UK

    Louis' deli in Norwich