Re: requests for corpora

Peter R. Burton (
Tue, 25 Feb 97 00:18:34 -0600

Responding to the message of Christopher Bader <cbader@MIT.EDU>:
> This list gets lots of requests for corpora. Often, I (and probably a lot
> of other people) would like to know what responses they get, but very few
> requests contain the promise to post a summary of responses to the list.
> Consequently, some people post their responses to the list, too, wasting
> a lot of band-width, and making it hard to keep track of the answers.
> So I have a request for both requesters and responders.
> Requesters: ALWAYS promise to post a summary to the list, and do it.
> This should be considered part of the etiquette of making a request.
> Responders: Reply to the requester, not to the list.
> Thoughts?
> Christopher Bader
You are leaning towards what is done on the linguist list. It works very well
and deals with quite a range of material, but it is edited carefully and is more

It seems to me that quite a number of requests and notes come to corpora from
those who have just heard about the list, hoping to find out what they do not
know, whether simple or complex, or making an announcement potentially useful to
list members. Let it continue.

There are requests about topics that would interest a significant number of list
members. There are others with very limited appeal, but nevertheless important
to a few. Consequently, why not let each list member decide case by case
whether to post a reply to the list or the sender only, and let the sender
decide to post a summary if there appears to be sufficient interest?

This list is mercifully spared the mindless sparing of others, a real waste of
band width.

Peter Burton

- Isaac Newton apparently wrote of his work: "I seem to have been only like a
boy playing on the seashore, diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother
pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all
undiscovered before me."