Our language

The English language is written and spoken in many different ways.

The way we speak varies according to who we are, where we are, and who we're talking to. Language can make people feel superior or inferior, included or excluded, well informed or ignorant, impressed or appalled.

But language is not only about individual identity. Specialist ways of writing and speaking have been developed for all sorts of reasons: for different media, or for particular audiences, for particular professions or technologies. This kind of lanugage helps to create precise effects.

In the following pages you can look at the way people have used language in different ways for different reasons. Understanding how language works can help us to express ourselves and to navigate the world around us.


Explore the contexts in which persuasive language is used as well as how it works.


Who's in control?

Learn how language is power - how it is used to create balance and control, to flatter and to encourage but also to deceive and dominate.


Shared language

Discover how language can be shared: by oppressed groups, by those with a particular identity or view, to preserve hierarchies and to prevent detection.


Identity and prejudice

Discover the huge part language plays in our sense of identity ahnd how our speech might give away clues as to that identity.