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, just try to pick the most specific one. Emailing multiple addresses at once will not reach me any faster. (Confused by the plus signs below? They automatically give my incoming email topic-based labels. It’s great.)
I am not at all picky about greetings and closings, but please make your subject line as informative as possible.
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. Include the name of your media outlet and the topic of your story in the subject line (e.g. “XYZ news – emoji media request re BECAUSE INTERNET”).
Other media requests
I generally enjoy doing media! However, I hear from a lot of journalists, producers, and editors so I must regretfully triage media requests. Here are some tips:
From experience, the kind of interview which makes for the most insightful final product 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. Journalists, editors, producers, and so on, email allthingslinguistic+media æt gmail.com
I enjoy public speaking! For 2019, my talks will be focussed on internet linguistics in relation to my book that’s coming out this year. (Examples of speeches I’ve given on my speaking page.) Want a talk about internet linguistics at your event? Please email allthingslinguistic+speak æt gmail.com
I’m interested in high-impact consulting projects about internet linguistics or bridging the gap between linguistics and the general public (more details on my consulting page). If you think your project would be a good fit, please email allthingslinguistic+consult æt gmail.com
Podcast / Lingthusiasm
Emailing about Lingthusiasm, my podcast that’s enthusiastic about linguistics? Even if your request falls within one of the other categories, if it’s Lingthusiasm-related, it’s best if it reaches both me and my cohost Lauren Gawne simultaneously. I do not respond to Lingthusiasm queries without consulting my cohost, so it will be faster for you if I do not have to forward your email to our joint account whenever I get around to it. Also please note that Lingthusiasm does not run interviews from PR pitches; don’t bother pitching us on an interview with your client/representative. Please send all Lingthusiasm-related correspondence to contact æt lingthusiasm.com
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. (Here are some book reviews I have done.) 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. Do not send me anything in the mail without contacting me first, even if your publisher has my address on file, as I may be travelling and your package may not reach me. Please email allthingslinguistic+books æt gmail.com
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 represents your organization. Also please note that Lingthusiasm does not schedule interviews from PR pitches; please save your energy and don’t bother. If you have a different PR pitch, one that is not for the podcast and suited to me as a linguist who is very much interested in data and not at all interested in pre-packaged stories (no infographics), you may email it to allthingslinguistic+pitch æt gmail.com
I greatly enjoy meeting students at conferences and other events!
However, I cannot provide personalized career advice, custom reading ideas for self-study, or lists of academic sources for you to cite in your paper. Because I have gotten these questions so many times, I have instead created many public resources for students on my blog, including advice on doing linguistics in high school, undergrad, grad school, and careers, as well as extensive reading lists about internet linguistics and teaching yourself linguistics. Click on these links! They will answer your questions immediately! You may also wish to try a google search using your keywords of interest and site:allthingslinguistic.com to filter through my extensive archive of posts.
Here are things that you can email me about as a student: If you’ve written a paper about internet linguistics, even if it’s just a class paper, I’d love to see it! (And possibly add it to the list of internet linguistics resources above, if it’s public.) I’m also always interested in photos of linguistics baked goods and linguistics handcrafts — with your permission, I may post these to the blog and you can enjoy a tiny moment of linguistic internet fame. For these topics, please email allthingslinguistic+mail æt gmail.com
When I’m able to reply to general student fanmail, which is not always, I prioritize high school students who have never met a linguist before over university students who have access to other linguists already. For more student resources, please see my podcast, Lingthusiasm, and the FAQ of my blog, All Things Linguistic.
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. I reserve my intake of strangers’ opinions for social media; do not email me yours.
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