Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 16:59:25 +0000

From: Lynne Murphy M_Lynne_Murphy[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BAYLOR.EDU

Subject: Re: The list; FAQ

i agreed with all jesse sheidlower said about the state of the list:

moderation is a major job; it's tough, if not impossible, to balance the

desire to have a professional forum and the desire to convert linguistic

neophytes; faq's make us feel better, but don't actually solve problems;

there are other forums for lay people's questions about language. on

the last two points, a faq would be more useful if it were not just

something sent out at the beginning of the subscription, but posted to

the list (or to an individual) at times when people complain about the

level of the discussion, and it would be most useful if it informed

people of other venues in which they could have their questions

answered. the alt.english.usage discussion, the ask-a-linguist service,

and some web sites may be good directions in which to point.

as for having undergrads join the list, while i too want my students to

be exposed to other ideas and to discuss linguistic matters outside of

class, many undergrads (i.e., some in any class) will not benefit much

by experience in a high-falutin' place like this--either because they

are intimidated by or lost in it or because they do not realize how

high-falutin' we actually are. for my linguistics classes, i'm doing a

intra-university listserv, through which my students can communicate

about the issues we've discussed in class, forward messages and websites

of interest to us, etc. (i, of course, forward appropriate things from

the lists i belong to). next semester, we hope to have a linguistics

club here, and then the list will be open to its members, people in my

classes, or alumni of linguistics classes. i'd recommend this

arrangement to others teaching undergrad linguistics. it works well.




M. Lynne Murphy

Assistant Professor in Linguistics

Department of English

Baylor University

PO Box 97404

Waco, TX 76798