The motivation for this first post comes from a new publishing venture, which I’m delighted to see emerge. Way back in the 1970s, I tried to persuade various publishing houses to launch a full-colour illustrated language magazine, to meet what I felt was a rapidly growing popular interest in the subject. On the analogy of History Today, I wanted it to be called Language Today, and approached Longman publishers accordingly. They were mildly interested, but the idea never took off. Cambridge University Press, on the other hand, were interested, but in a more focused notion, which eventually appeared as English Today, with Tom McArthur as founding editor. A couple of other short-lived attempts to produce a popular language mag followed, such as Language International. But for some time now there has been nothing ‘out there’.
And now, at last, there is: Babel, an initiative from linguists at the University of Huddersfield, and its first issue, which has just become available, is doing what I always hoped such a magazine would do. I wish it well.