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[Conlangs-Conf] Press release - requesting action

From:Sai Emrys <sai@...>
Date:Saturday, May 6, 2006, 21:12
Hello all, again.

Per suggestion from someone on CONLANG (whom I'm not sure I can quote,
so will leave anonymous), methinks it would be a good idea to have
some of you send in the press release, plus some personal comment, to
media sources. Particularly (but not exclusively!) those of you with
letters after your name. It would be more likely to get attention, as
third parties, than just me pitching my own conference (as it were) as
an interesting story.

The ready-for-release press release is below; please use it (it has
one correction from the previous version). Please mention me, as (rather than anythingelse@), as the contact
person, if you mention anyone.

Suggested contacts:

1. NPR:
* Weekend Edition Sunday:
Brenda Tremblay
followup to:
Scott Simon
followup to:

Story idea pitch page w/ their requests and a contact form:
Contact page for WES: (select WES from the
first dropdown box)
WES email (contact point for both reporters) is

* Other shows that might be interested (contact through ):
All Things Considered (general news program - probably as a 'kicker')
Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (humorous news quiz show - could do well as a
question on any of their sections). - they're
worth listening to for fun

2. (from Roger Mills)
William Safire's "On Language" column, Sunday New York Times or

3. Daily Cal (UC's main student paper)

4. The Big Ones
* Reuter's: (= general contact)
* Associated Press:

5. (hesitantly) News of the Weird
- NotW gets picked up a LOT in other outlets, not always in a negative way
* Chuck Sheperd's:
* Reuter's "Oddly Enough"
* Associated Press' "Strange News"
(only availble through subscribing outlets, of which there are scads)

6. That show or column you listen to / watch / read all the time, or
whose reporter you know :-)

For all of these, be sure to include your name, email, and daytime
phone number if possible (so they take it more seriously). I would
appreciate being CCed ( so I can keep track of it,
or send me a copy if you submit it by a form.

I know that the question of whether or not we-the-community want
publicity has been somewhat contentious in the past. I'm going to cast
my vote firmly in favor of 'yes', and say that this is as good a time
as any - and with an actual event as a news item - to pitch it. If you
disagree, don't participate.

If you do though, please send these people email. My suspicion is that
the more people they have sending in an email - particularly one that
has not just the press release but a personal note about why it should
get air time - the more likely it'll air (or print, for NYT). And who
knows, it might get picked up by other networks afterwards; how/when
that recurses is hard to predict.

Granted, it'll probably come in the form of a kicker or other humorous
"wow, aren't they weird" piece, but it may not - and in some respect,
any news is good news, especially given how frequently closeted our
potential "membership base" is. (Face it, you probably were at some
point too - what if you *had* heard something in the media indicating
there were thousands more out there just like you, and pointed you to
how to find them?)

Happy pitching,

 - Sai

May 5, 2006 - UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

The results are in, and the First Language Creation Conference was a
great success.

You may ask, here, what is the LCC? For that matter, what is language creation?

Language creation - or 'conlanging' (short for "constructed language")
is the art, science, and hobby of creating new languages. People do it
for a wide variety of reasons - everything from fleshing out a
fictional work, aiming towards world peace and mutual communication,
trying to create an ideal language, testing linguistic theories,
having a secret langauge to use in their diary or share with a close
friend or sibling, testing out the boundaries of what language can do,
or simply as good fun!

While conlanging has been a famously closeted hobby for centuries now,
it is beginning to emerge into the mainstream. There are several
hundred conlangers who talk together online on various mailing lists
and bulletin boards, hundreds or thousands more who don't know that
they're not the only ones in the world who do this, and many thousands
of languages that have been created since the first one known of today
was made in 1150 AD.

The First Language Creation Conference, held April 23 2006 on the UC
Berkeley campus, was the very first serious conference ever to be held
on the subject, drawing conlangers from all over the United States,
and with hundreds more watching both nationally and internationally,
through the recorded videos available online. It was also the largest
gathering of conlangers to have ever been held - three times larger
than the next largest known.

Conlanging has been increasingly featured in the media and popular
culture. It has been featured prominently in interviews on NPR with
linguists Mark Okrand
( and
Sarah Higley (,
popular movies such as Lord of the Rings and the Star Trek series,
music from artists such as Sigur Ros  and many books - not all of
which acknowledge the extent to which the author may have fleshed out
their created languages.

Next year's conference is already being planned, and is expected to be
yet bigger and to draw more people, this time internationally.

For more info, videos, audio interviews, reviews, photos, supplements,
and other material, please visit

Fiat lingua.


Larry Sulky <larrysulky@...>
Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>