An Open Letter to Oxford University Press


Thank you muchly for your recent electronic missive alerting me to some of your recent output.

In common with a number of other serious (ahem) bloggers I am contacted by a number of publishers. The usual process is that they praise my wit and wisdom, then offer me a free copy (a bribe, d\’ye see?) of whatever scribblings it is that they are pushing.

This then may or may not become something I read and then write about here upon my blog. It might even become something that I plug in other places that I write: why, some of these doucers have even led to full reviews in national newspapers!

I was interested therefore to get your message. However, there seems to be something a little missing from your description of what might indeed be a delightful new title. Further, there seems to be something added to your letter unwisely: a link to the Amazon page where I can purchase my own copy.

Now it might be that you\’ve not realised that blogs (and blog writers) are known as part of the New Media. You might also be unaware of the way in which we are exactly the same as the old media: we never, never ever, spend our own money upon anything. In this, all media hands ancient, modern and new are united.

However, there is in fact something that you should be aware of. Sending an email to someone near randomly (the felicitation, "Dear Blogger" is a bit of a giveaway) suggesting that they buy something is technically known as "spam". And depending upon the jurisdiction this can be illegal.

So, might I suggest that you have a little word in the shell-like of your employee:

Andrew Varhol

Assistant Marketing Manager, Lead Titles


Oxford University Press * 198 Madison Ave. * New York, NY 10016

phone: 212.726.6247 * fax: 212.726.6442

e-mail: [email protected]


Your assistance in this matter is much appreciated.


I remain yours etc.


Tim Worstall

2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Oxford University Press”

  1. Andrew Varhol? Now why does this sound familiar… did he use to flog Campbell’s soup at one stage?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *