The Phrontistery

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So, you'd like to send me (Forthright, a.k.a. Steve Chrisomalis) an e-mail regarding the Phrontistery. Great! I love hearing from readers who share my passions, or who have a tricky question that needs answering. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @schrisomalis, where I tweet material relating to language and linguistics including blog posts on the Phrontistery's sister site, Glossographia. Also, I'm obsessed with improving my site, and always welcome suggestions and corrections. However, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a minute to consider a few points before you do so.

1. I can't guarantee a rapid response to your e-mail.

While I try to answer e-mails as quickly as possible, it may sometimes take a while to get to your question because of the mass of mail I receive. This site is a hobby, and I'm not getting compensated (unless you buy something through my bookstore pages or donate through Paypal using the link at the left). Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks, and rarely I may not get to it at all. Thanks for understanding.

2. I don't do homework.

Lots of students come to my site to help them with school assignments. This is marvelous. However, I'm not particularly inclined to do your homework - and certainly not on a 24-hour or 48-hour deadline (see above). I may help you find references or sites that will help you with your work, but I will not do the work for you.

3. Read the FAQ.

Many of the answers to popularly asked questions are found on my Frequently Asked Questions page. I strongly recommend that you look at that page before e-mailing me.

4. Please ensure that your question relates to the focus of the Phrontistery.

The focus of this site is primarily on English words, and secondarily on topics such as numeration. However, I frequently receive requests for information that I can't possibly answer, because I don't have expertise in the field. For instance, I am sometimes asked to diagnose mental illnesses based on my manias page. Most of my pages were compiled simply by reading dictionaries. If your question is not directly related to the main topics of the Phrontistery, I won't be able to answer.

5. See if you can use existing resources before contacting me.

When I get an interesting query, I have a set group of resources that I use to track down accurate information. I've provided a list of these resources on my Word Finding Tips page - in particular, Google and Onelook. Because I can't guarantee a speedy response, I recommend that you try these resources before e-mailing.

6. Please check your spelling and grammar.

Please check your spelling and grammar before sending your e-mail. If you are asking me for the definition of a word, it is particularly important to ensure that you have spelled it properly. However, I know that if you are a younger student or someone whose first language is not English, grammar and spelling errors do occur. Don't be afraid to e-mail me even if you think you may have made errors.

7. Courtesy will get you everywhere in life.

You wouldn't believe how many e-mails I get that are downright rude - demanding information, or brusquely explaining to me how I'm an idiot. Please keep in mind that I'm not getting paid to take abuse; in fact, I'm not getting paid at all. When I respond to your message, I promise you that I will be courteous, and I hope you will exercise the same courtesy with me.

8. Send me an e-mail, and it's mine to do with as I wish.

If you send me a question or an interesting fact, I reserve the right to post it on the site or to use it in another way, if I wish. If I do so, I will respect your privacy absolutely; your name, e-mail, and other distinguishing information will be removed.

Thanks for taking the time to read and understand these few points before sending me an e-mail. And now that you have done so ...

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