[lg policy] question for the members of this list

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 2 16:19:20 UTC 2010


I have a question that I would like an answer to.  I receive a daily
"google alert" on the topic of "language policy." This is a service
I requested of Google, and what they do is search the web for any
mention of "language" and "policy" in the messages they
transmit.  They compile a list and forward it to me, and I read the
messages to see if they are germane to our topic. (Many
are not--many messages talk about the "language" of a policy, by which
they mean the wording of the text, not the human
organ of speech and/or a named variety of language.)

Recently, the google alerts have been turning up bibliographic items
such as articles or monographs about language policy,
and I have forwarded some of these to the list.  Nobody has complained
about this, but I wonder if this is useful to anyone. For example,
yesterday I forwarded a message about the language policy of the Food
and Agricultural Organization, a two-line squib mentioning
which order they list language icons in.  Others have been from
various jurisdictions in South Africa, which seems to be requiring
or at least urging people to formulate a language policy, and make it
known; these have included the Stellenbosch University,
the government of the Western Cape, and others.  Further examples
include departments of a Danish university, such as the Engineering

Since I always tell my students that language policies can be found in
lots of different nooks and crannies of the world, not just
the governments of states, but religious organizations, labor unions,
and other jurisdictions and polities, these are good examples
of that.  It also reminds us that sometimes a body may have a covert
policy, i.e. one that assumes that a certain language will
be "official" but doesn't state it explicitly.  These, of course, get
no mention.

Anyway, my question is: would you like me to continue to forward these
"mini-squibs" about language policy, e.g. in the FAO,
or should I be more judicious?

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

H. Schiffman

N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
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or sponsor of the list as to the veracity of a message's contents.
Members who disagree with a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal.
(H. Schiffman, Moderator)

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