January 11, 2007

Language Log pole vaults into the future

In a startling and totally unexpected announcement today, Language Log's Board of Directors, speaking from their spacious conference room at Language Log Plaza, shocked the blogosphere by revealing that they have voted to discontinue all electronic posts as of April 1, 2007. Instead, Language Log is to become a hard copy journal, flying in the face of the opposite modern trend away from paper versions to electronic formats. From now on, interested readers will have to subscribe to this new journal (yet to be named) for a substantial sum of money (yet to be determined).

When asked why this change is being made, an unnamed Language Log spokesperson said:

A hard  copy journal is what the public really wants. It will give Language Log staff a chance to offer more thoughtful language science information, much the way readers now get it from the media, such as the BBC Science Section. Anyway, the public appears to respond better to hard copy, as evidenced by their  continuing belief that females speak three times more words than males, that Eskimos have 17 (or more)  words for snow, that British cows moo in regional dialects, that restrictive clauses always take "which," and that the English lexicon is about to reach a million words. We've done our very best to counter this nonsense in our outdated electronic format but the Board of Directors believes our writers will be much more effective if, in the future, their information is printed on paper.

Ironically, the timing of this unusual and highly debated decision comes on the heels of the Linguistic Society of America's recent announcement that it is  going in exactly the opposite direction, changing its book notices section from print to an electronic format.  Blackwell Publishers has just begun a new electronic journal, Language and Linguistics Compass, and many other electronic journals are already up and running or are soon to become available, illustrating how overcrowed this outmoded approach is becoming.

So, in order to serve its faithful readers even better, Language Log is, as usual, at the forefront of progress.

Posted by Roger Shuy at January 11, 2007 01:10 PM