Comments policy

Some guidelines for commenters:

Be brief. Blog posts may be long or short; blog comments should be short. If you have a lot to say, post it on your own blog and link to it. If you don't have a blog, you could start one easily (for example here or here). Or you could link to a document that you've published on your own web site, or (for example) here.

Be relevant. Language Log is our site, where we write about whatever we want. Our main concern is for the quality of experience for our tens of thousands of readers. As a commenter, you are a guest, and should comment on the content of the post you're commenting on. If you want to write about some other topic, do it on your own blog.

Be informed. If you don't know anything, please don't say anything. If the topic is new to you, do some research  before you comment. And take the time to be specific: "<specific person> discussed this in <specific reference>" is better than "I think that I once read something about this"; and "this seems to be inconsistent with <specific documented fact>" is better than "I don't agree".

Be polite. If you don't know what this means, don't comment.

Comments that violate these guidelines will be deleted without notice. Repeat offenders may be banned.

Note that comments will be enabled on some posts, and not on others. If comments are not enabled on a particular post, please don't use the comments on a different post to discuss it. If you have something to say about a post where comments are not enabled, you can email the author (we are all professional scholars with easy-to-discover email addresses, though publishing them here would attract the attention of robots and bring us floods of spam).

One more suggestion: Please, read the post before commenting.  Commenters often ask questions that are answered directly in the post, or make statements that are directly contradicted by something in the post.  This frustrates the blogger and makes you look like an idiot.  For an example, see Mark Liberman's counter-comment on this comment.

And one last condition: the software asks you for an email address (though it is not published for other readers to see). Though there is no automatic check, this should be a genuine address. We can see the email address you give, and comments from addresses like "" are likely to be deleted.

As always, the Language Log Complaints Department stands ready to refund double your subscription price if you are less than fully satisfied.