These are strange and difficult times for all of us, wherever in the world we live. Teaching has become somewhat fraught, with urgent demands on our ability to adapt to new methods and new technologies perhaps faster than we would like. Research for some of us continues as it always has, or at least has since the digitization of so much material, but for others it is much more difficult if not impossible: think of field work or visits to archives.
We can call, nonetheless, on various support systems, and foremost among them is the Linguist List. It is 30 years old this year and going strong! I can remember when it started under the leadership of Anthony Aristar and Helen Dry – the linguistic community did not take long to realize the great potential of this new, web-based service. Especially at the beginning, it served as a forum for discussion – sometimes lively, to say the least – about all things linguistic. Although that function is less popular given the number of specialized linguistic sites that exist, Linguist List is still essential to our professional lives: it is a place to post queries, circulate conference calls for participants and programs, announce dissertation titles, new books, jobs… And I am not even mentioning the many data bases and links to other organizations it supplies. In short, it is still a very necessary part of our professional lives.
As such, Linguist List needs our support. It has been sustained for most of its 30 years by contributions from subscribers around the world which supplement its support from the institution at which it is housed, now Indiana University, and a few smaller income streams. But they do not suffice, important as they are, and I am urging you to join me in being a donor. It saddens me each year how few of the some 4000 people who receive daily mailings make a contribution. Some cannot, for many personal and professional reasons, but many can and should! This is the perfect time to swell the number of donors to support Linguist List as it supports us.
Professor Emerita of Linguistics
Wayne State University
Chair, eLinguistics Board