Comments policy

Sentence first would not exist without readers and comments. I like when posts aren’t just me on a monologue but become a conversation – interaction brings the place to life. I reply to comments when I can and when appropriate, though it sometimes takes me a day or two.

“Don’t read the comments” is a familiar refrain around the web, born of unpleasantness and ignorance endemic in discussion sections. Here it’s different: commenters tend to be friendly, informed, and respectful.

Constructive disagreement is welcome, but ill-mannered antagonism is not, and may be removed or subjected to sarcasm. Hate speech, abuse, or repeated hostility will get you banned. I seldom resort to this, but I have no misgivings about doing so when it’s warranted.

Comments should be reasonably relevant to what I’ve written or what others have added. Going off-topic occasionally is OK, but doing so regularly is frustrating for me and for other readers; I may edit or remove such comments without notice.

Nor, ordinarily, do I welcome essay-length comments that use my blog as a platform for publication. (It’s not by coincidence that these tend to be ideological.) If you can’t be succinct, consider writing your own blog.

Automated spam is caught by the filter. Manual spam might make a token effort at relevance but remain transparently cynical. I either block this material or allow it after excising gratuitous self-promotion.

Sentence first is not responsible for other people’s comments, but will exercise the right to edit or remove comments deemed offensive or inappropriate.

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