Spam and the suppression of dialogue

This post is partly to thank Eric publicly for giving comments a shot on phonoloblog – as a contributor I enjoyed seeing what readers had to say in response to my posts, but agree that the effects of comment spam make the comment function unworthwhile. It’s like trying to have a conversation in a loud restaurant … and not only does the ambient noise drown you out, it actively seeks to interrupt and co-opt your conversation. It’s bogus.

In the interest of continuing to enable legitimate commenters, I’ll add to Eric’s advice that the Language Log model seems to work – as long as the commenter can find out how to reach the author. This has even been the case for an LL reader like me.

That said, I have to admit that, in the rare event somebody would want to comment on a post of mine, I am not as easy to track down as a Bakovic, a Zuraw, or a Davidson. No doubt this is in part due my having a particular combination of high-frequency first and last name shared by several more notable figures, including a former attorney general, a celebrated distance runner, and an old-school major-league baseball player.

Indeed, even if you narrowed your search term by adding, like, “linguistics”, or “UCSB”, I have tumbled down the google ladder. Not that I’m complaining – but it does make my web address difficult to find. If you ever did find it, you would find it altered somewhat (as has become convention) in order to screw with the evil web-crawling spambots that harvest email addresses. To save you the trouble I have recreated it below in the same manner.

ɓǫɓ æʈ ɪşɓɛʁ·ʊčşɓ·ɛđʊ

Keep it real
Bob K