[lg policy] question for the members of this list

Eve Haque ehaque at YORKU.CA
Sat Jan 2 16:30:03 UTC 2010

yes please and happy new year...

Harold Schiffman wrote:
> All:
> 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
> School.
> 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
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