by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/06/08 03:00 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/06/08/621253.aspx
How often do we actually read the boilerplate text?
It is funny, I was thinking about this the other day.
I have belonged to Linguist List for a little while now, though quite definitely as a lurker (even if I can upgrade myself from delusions of linguistic aptitude to notions of it, I am still by no means a linguist, even ignoring the many years of education I am missing!).
All kinds of interesting mails go by though, and sometimes there are very interesting post and announements as well.
Though I couldn't help noticing their boilerplate that is prepended to any "job listing" that is sent:
The LINGUIST List strongly encourages employers to engage in non-discriminatory hiring practices. We urge employers not to discriminate on the grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, age, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. However, we have no means of enforcing these standards.
(the last sentence, in red, is only in the email version, not in that site post I linked to -- putting it in red is just me though, not the email!)
In any case, I can't help feeling like there is an item missing there. One that theoretically impacts me.
Technically this is not such a huge deal for me, since I wouldn't be qualified for any of the positions they list anyway. But I can't help wondering if anyone who was qualified saw this and decided not to respond? It is easy to be an introvert in such cases....
Probably not, though. Like I said, I think I am oversensitive to it. I mean, just about every university I know of has such policies -- including Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University, the sponsors of Linguist List. So it is probably covered even without the boilerplate disclaimer. :-)
Which actually brings up a bigger question -- how many people actually tune out once the paragraph about non-discrimination starts, since they know what it is going to cover? I mean, even in this one particular case I can't say I noticed an issue even after it appeared on hundreds on mail messages. Perhaps I would have been looking harder if I were hunting for a linguistic job, but it is more likely that I would be skipping past it to look at the actual jobs.
Do people actually ever read the boilerplate text?
# Gabe on 12 Jun 2006 2:14 AM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 12 Jun 2006 11:30 AM:
# errantacademic on 8 Aug 2006 9:07 AM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Aug 2006 5:58 PM:
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