Letter from the Editor


In Extremis

The first issue of The Vocabula Review was sent to its 47 subscribers in September 1999. Today, in March 2001, some 4,700 subscribers receive an email notifying them when a new issue of TVR is online. And today, it's apparent to me that this journal cannot long survive without financial help from its readers.

Although I have never asked for subscription fees to The Vocabula Review, I have, especially of late, begun to ask for financial donations. At the moment, I can assure you that the April issue of TVR will be made available next month, but a May issue — without an influx of financial contributions — I cannot assure.

If even 100 readers of The Vocabula Review were to donate $10 each, over the next month, I know I could manage publishing a May issue.

This journal now requires some thirty to fifty hours a week to produce, publish, and maintain. Had I a small staff of volunteers, perhaps I wouldn't feel as hopeless as I now do about being able to continue making TVR available. TVR, however, is just I, and I alone cannot sustain these long, payless hours. Few organizations, and even fewer websites it seems, do not ask for money. Clearly, we cannot contribute to all who would have us do so, but it also seems clear to me that each of us must decide, among all who would ask, which petitioners we should heed.

As I have pleaded before, if you are interested in being able to read The Vocabula Review each month, please help ensure that you can by donating now.

TVR Poll

I have discontinued the TVR Poll largely for the reasons I mention in the preceding paragraphs. Many costs are associated with publishing this journal, but this particular one was not critical to TVR's continuance.

Politics and the English Language

The Vocabula Review is not meant to be a forum for my prejudices — whether linguistic or political. One of my fears is that some of TVR's readers may feel that a man who has conservative views about language necessarily, or very likely, has them about politics as well.

Even though I have taken President Bush to task a number of times for his inarticulateness, I have also grumbled about President Clinton's speech more than once, and Senator Joe Biden came under attack a month or so ago. I hope my publishing Joseph Epstein's "Going Without the Flow" in this month's issue will help TVR's readers understand that The Vocabula Review tries to be nonpartisan and open-minded.

Robert Hartwell Fiske
editor@vocabula.com


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