Bravo! A blog about language gets, as you might expect, a few fairly repetitive responses to common issues, and Language Log gets lots of unimaginative comments about ending a sentence with a preposition…and they’ve reached the limits of their patience.

Unable to bear any longer the tedious work of seeking out all the instances of these two dopey comment types and deleting them, I have decided that from now on I will hunt down the relevant commenters and kill them.

I realize that it is unusual for a popular science blog to launch upon a policy of killing its own readers. That is why I thought an explicit warning should go up on the site first. This is that warning.

Since there is now a precedent, I will happily follow suit. I have a few peeves of my own that I think will have to be treated with the death penalty to all offenders.

  • The man waiting for rescue from a flood “joke”. No, I will not repeat it. And remember, if you try to repeat it in the comments, it is now a killing offense. (If you really need to know what it is, it’s in my book.)

  • Any statement about how science is just another religion.

  • In any thread about the problems women face in our culture, any man who starts crying about his poor butchered foreskin will join it in the biological waste disposal.

  • Any claim that atheists ignore the ‘sophisticated’ claims of theists without telling us exactly what those brilliant neglected arguments are.

There will certainly be others added to this list, because I am capricious and vindictive.

Geoffrey Pullum has contracted out the termination job to two of his staffers, Luca and Enzo. I do not employ “people” with sufficient autonomy to have warranted names, but instead will be dispatching the faceless (literally) molluscan horde to take care of the condemned. A suggestion: if you receive a death sentence, head for the nearest seacoast and wait for the tentacles to arise; they’re savage, quick, and painless. Trying to hide in landlocked areas means you’ll be taken care of by the snails and slugs, which means execution by slow, painful radulation.