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LINGUIST List 16.1289

Fri Apr 22 2005

All: Re: Abolishing Fund Drive

Editor for this issue: Michael Appleby <michaellinguistlist.org>

To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
        1.    LINGUIST List, Re: Abolishing Fund Drive

Message 1: Re: Abolishing Fund Drive
Date: 20-Apr-2005
From: LINGUIST List <linguistlinguistlist.org>
Subject: Re: Abolishing Fund Drive

[Editor's Note: This is an anonymous message, sent to us in reply to Helen
Aristar-Dry and Anthony Aristar's concluding Fund Drive message of issue


I appreciated your message just now to Linguist List on the results of
the "abolishing the fund drive" discussion. I side with the person who said
not to consider abolishing it--you have every right to ask for donations. I
think it's ridiculous that so many people who make use of Linguist List don't
feel the need to contribute to it. The majority can certainly afford at least a
small donation, you make it incredibly easy to donate from just about any
location, and there should be no griping about it. But most importantly, I
think people don't really value something, or feel they belong to it, unless
they make a commitment to it, and for most of us, that's a monetary

Most of what I just said could be taken as arguments for a fee subscription
system. I'm strongly opposed to that, for all the reasons that have been
given: the number of subscribers would go way down, making the list much
less useful, and the people in very poor countries really shouldn't have to
pay. So I don't think it's a problem to pressure those of us who can afford
to contribute until we get around to doing so.

It makes me angry to read the suggestions by people in wealthier countries
that someone else should pay--publishers, the LSA, whoever. Suggestions
that services be cut make me even angrier. If people truly can't afford even
a few dollars, they certainly have the option of not contributing. Those who
can at least afford to go out for coffee should stop complaining, take
responsibility instead of asking someone else to pay for a service they use,
and get out their credit cards. The more time people spend sitting around
complaining that they have no money and can't afford anything (while
drinking espresso most likely), the more convinced they become that there
isn't any money. The more time people spend hearing bold ideas for the
future (even though those ideas cost money), the more convinced they
become that things are possible. Considering how many subscribers are in
the U.S., Western Europe, Japan, Australia, etc., there is simply no argument
to be made that the subscriber base can't afford the very small proportion
of the budget you ask of them. So don't apologize for the fund drive, just
put the pressure on and tell people that if they want Linguist List and want
it to be a successful organization, all those who are able (and that includes
anyone who can afford a coffee) need to pay up and take part in making the
organization successful. They have the opportunity to be a part of that,
and that ought to be worth their donation.

Thanks for all your work.

Linguistic Field(s): Discipline of Linguistics

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