I receive a lot of cold email. Sometimes it is fantastic! Sometimes it is tedious. Since I am a strong proponent of teaching people how to email, this page is an attempt to encourage the delightful emails and discourage or help improve the less good ones.
I am not able to reply to all unsolicited emails. If your request is time-sensitive, please indicate your timeline in the initial email. In most cases, follow-up emails are unnecessary: either I will get to you in due course when my schedule clears up and I have time to go through my inbox, or I was never going to reply. However, if you must follow up, please wait at least a week to do so and only do so once.
If you cannot decide which category your request falls into, simply make your best guess and pick one. Emailing multiple addresses at once will not reach me any faster. (Confused by the plus sign? It keeps my inbox organized.)
Media requests related to my book, BECAUSE INTERNET
I’m very excited to talk to people about my upcoming book about internet language! BECAUSE INTERNET is coming out on July 23 from Riverhead (Penguin) and more information about the book can be found here.
Please email the book’s publicist, Shailyn Tavella, email@example.com for information about reviews, interviews, and other book-related queries.
Other media requests
I generally enjoy doing media! However, I hear from a lot of journalists so I must regretfully triage media requests. Here are some tips:
My favourite kind of interview is where the journalist has noticed something specific about internet communication and provides me with a few concrete examples to analyze linguistically. New animal meme? A particular way people are using punctuation? Something in particular going on for a particular app or subculture? If possible, it’s great to copy-paste a couple of these examples directly into the email in advance!
Please include the name of your media outlet and the topic of your story in the subject line (e.g. “XYZ news – emoji media request”). In the body of the email, please include your timezone for scheduling purposes and ideally also your deadline so that I can triage media requests properly during busy weeks. I do not reply to media requests received via social media, text message, or phone call, even if you have my contact information in one of these places. Please email allthingslinguistic+media æt gmail.com
Speaking & Consulting
Want an internet linguist to speak at your event, advise on a linguistics aspect at your company, or consult on your linguistics outreach plan? I’m very selective about speaking and consulting projects that I take on, but if you think your project would be a good fit, please email allthingslinguistic+consult æt gmail.com
Emailing about Lingthusiasm, my podcast that’s enthusiastic about linguistics? Please email contact æt lingthusiasm.com to reach both me and my cohost Lauren Gawne simultaneously.
Book PR pitches
I am almost always excited to receive advance reader copies, galleys, and other books for review, both of pop linguistics and of linguistically interesting fiction. That said, I cannot guarantee that I will actually read and review the book under a specific timeline, especially if I’m travelling. Please allow lots of time if you want to maximize your odds that I’ll get the chance to talk about the book by the time it’s going on sale. Please email allthingslinguistic+books æt gmail.com or reach out through existing channels such as my publisher. Do not send me anything in the mail without contacting me first, as I may be travelling and your package may not reach me.
Other PR pitches
I am not interested in PR pitches offering to introduce me to a linguist. I already know many linguists. Many, many linguists. Probably the single group I know the most of are linguists. I like linguists a lot, but linguists are not an exciting novelty to me. I am in fact myself even a linguist! I have no difficulty in finding linguists with various specialities to quote and thus have no need for an introduction to the linguist who works for your organization. If you have a different PR pitch, one that is suited to me as a linguist, please email it to allthingslinguistic+pitch æt gmail.com
I enjoy meeting students at conferences and other events! However, I cannot provide custom reading lists or career advice via email for all students who would like it. Instead, I have created many public resources for students, including advice on doing linguistics in high school, undergrad, grad school, and careers, as well as lists about internet linguistics and teaching yourself linguistics. For more, please see my podcast, Lingthusiasm, and the FAQ of my blog, All Things Linguistic.
If you’ve written a paper about internet linguistics, even if it’s just a class paper, I’d love to see it! I’m also always interested in photos of your linguistics baked goods and linguistics handcrafts. Please email allthingslinguistic+mail æt gmail.com
When I’m able to reply to student fanmail, I prioritize high school students who have never met a linguist before over university students who have access to other linguists already.
I have thoughts!
Do you have an opinion and you would like me to know about it? I would highly encourage you to start a blog or social media account where you can post about linguistics and find people who will enjoy talking with you about it. There is no need to send your opinion or the link to your future blog to me directly. If you engage constructively with the linguistics community online, I’m sure I’ll come across it of my own initiative. I have some tips about getting started with linguist twitter and linguist tumblr here.
If your email falls into none of the categories above, ask yourself, “How do I think this stranger who I would like to email will feel when reading my email?”
If the answer is “delighted”, email allthingslinguistic æt gmail.com