BP2: The American Philatelist Society

Blog » BP2: The American Philatelist Society

Posted on 07 Mar 2013 22:59

The American Philatelic is a published philatelic journal for American stamp collectors with its first issue originating in 1887. Only the members of the American Philatelic Society have access to these journals. Philatelists as a discourse community have a common goal of preserving and showing off valuable stamps. The president of the APS writes about the goal of the society, in the President’s Column, as “plant[ing] the seeds of Stamp Collecting for youth of all ages.” In addition to preserving the history in stamps in collections, it is important to increase awareness of these, sometimes underappreciated, pieces of art.

This journal acts to connect philatelists all over the country. They are updated on where to sell their stamps, where to buy more for their collection, exhibits coming up, and exclusive events for the members.As far as advancing their goal, the members are connected as a group and power comes in numbers. They are coordinated on their events and collections of the members are increasing because of the healthy selling and buying of stamps that occur because of this journal. Just like other exclusive groups, the philatelic society has elections for their board members, inside jokes (such as “we have tongs, will travel”), member events, its own library, and even a Hall of Fame. Similarly to other magazines and journals, there are advertisements; however, these are geared towards only philatelists. The entire journal goes to show how important stamps are to the individuals in this discourse community.

There are tons of lexis and community-specific terminology in the philatelic community. Stamps are described in very intricate terminology, the way all art requires professional assessment of its traits. General stamps are usually described with issue year, denomination, color, centering, condition (mint, used, hinged, etc.). Additional information is needed for special stamps such as those with errors, those originating in a foreign country, and if it is or is not a plate block. Notice how even the lexeis branch out to even more subsets of community-specific terminology.

The different articles are written by professional writers who also share a love of collecting stamps. Based on the author descriptions after each article, these authors are definitely insiders because they are widely knowledgeable about the topics they write about, which are all specific to the community. Not one article deviates from the topic of stamps, and for good reason. Reading the articles, it seems that the authors are only targeting insiders. This is due to several reasons. Only members of this society are subscribed to the journal and many lexeis are used without explanations of what they mean. Analysis of this written journal of philatelists as a discourse community goes to show how dedicated they are to their passion and the amount of knowledge and experience necessary to understand all the community-specific terminologies that go with being a stamp collector.

To view the actual journal I used, go to this link

Leave a comment

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License