Sue's e-mail to Bruce Fraser of Boston University USA, 7th August 2002

Dear Bruce,

Firstly, please note that I have only just read your e-mail message because I am only coming in to the office a few times a week and I do not have access to my e-mail from home. In fact I will now be away for a week, so any reply you or others send to this will not get read until 16th August.

Secondly, [name] is most welcome to discuss this matter with me directly, as I invited him to in my message. I felt I owed the people affected the courtesy of being contacted directly by myself to inform them what I was doing and why, (rather than just removing the links and waiting for people to notice the changes). I fully expect some dialogue as a result! So far I can't see a message from [name] in my in-box, but perhaps I'll find one as I plough through my messages. Anyway, I'm copying this to him.

Now for the substance of your message:

» Now, you do not own the web site. It says on the site that it is
» maintained by you. Not owned.

Correction: I *DO* own the site. At least, the computer belongs to the University of Birmingham but the site is in my own personal webspace on that computer. It is not an IAFL site. It is not a site for the Journal. It is part of my personal Forensic Linguistics website, which I created on my own initiative as a service to the academic FL community. I am not contractually obliged to create or maintain it. Obviously I have to operate within the law, and the University's terms and conditions for use of its computers - if I started posting porn on my web pages I would soon be in trouble! But within those constraints I can do what I like. Since I created it as a resource for the FL community, and since I am (I think) still the IAFL information officer, I use the site as well as the list to disseminate information I think would be useful to that community. By the way I chose to use the phrase "maintain" because that is what people conventionally say on their web pages, in my experience. "Own" sounds a tad possessive to me so I avoid it.

» Consequently, you cannot take it upon yourself to substantially
» alter the site without Editorial Board authorization or at
» least the Editor's agreement.

See above: this site is nothing to do with the Journal. The Journal's pages are maintained, as far as I know, by the University of Birmingham Press. I just provide a link to their homepage. If I wanted to I could remove that link - it would not affect the contents of their pages. Consequently this is not a matter for the Editorial Board of the Journal, of which I am not even a member at present. Nor is it a matter for the IAFL committee since it is not an IAFL site. Jess Shapero maintains the IAFL pages and I rarely touch them.

» Certainly, you cannot delete something because of a personal
» predilection.

It's not a personal predilection, it's a matter of conscience.


» FL is an academic organization, not a political one,

FL is not an organization at all but an academic and professional discipline. If you mean IAFL, fine, but then as I say the pages concerned are not IAFL pages.

I hope this clarifies the nature of the pages concerned. In view of this, I hope you will accept that your remarks were inappropriate.


Best wishes,

Sue Blackwell
Department of English,
The University of Birmingham,

Phone: +44 - 0121-414-3219
Fax: +44 - 0121-414-5668


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It was last updated on 5th November 2002.