Legal and Policy

Last updated 01 June 2018 at 23h00 UTC


  1. Notice & TOS
  2. Advertisements
  3. Affiliates
  4. Commenting
  5. Contributions & submission for publications
  6. Copyright claims & takedown notices
  7. Deletions, updates & retractions
  8. Hate mail, death threats, etc
  9. Links
  10. Privacy
  11. Requests & reposts
  12. Representation & warranty
  13. Reproduction & derivative works
  14. Sources & citations
  15. Typos & grammar

1 Notice & TOS

The Notice below governs and applies to all parts of this blog site and operates in conjunction with the other clauses displayed on this page:—


© Learn English or Starve, 2010–2018 • Any rights not expressed herein are reserved • This blog is non-commercial and non-profit, and not an editorial product released to the public on a regular basis • Nothing herein licensed under Creative Commons • Some content governed by third-party rights • Excerpts and links freely permitted, provided that clear byline is given alongside a hyperlink back to the original content • Commercial reproduction is strictly at the Author’s discretion • No representation made or implied for any expectation of accuracy or timeliness of any content herein • No endorsement made or implied for any links appearing herein this site • Use of this blog site is strictly at your own risk • Author’s email:

This blog updates every Tuesday at 12 noon UTC.

Official blog language is English.

Comments close after 30 days on all posts • Comments once published are non-removable even upon request.

The Terms of Service [LINK] operate in conjunction with the clauses hereunder to the extent permissible in law.

2 Advertisements

Any advertising appearing on this blog site has been inserted there by WordPress and/or its affiliates, not by us.

We are not responsible for the ads. The ads are WHOLLY SEPARATE from this blog. We have no control over them and cannot accept responsibility over what ads that WordPress has put into here.

By virtue of being on the free platform, this blog has never been monetised. We run no advertising and no sponsored content (i.e. paid topic insertions). If there is to be any sponsored content, the relevant post will indicate.

Read the official WordPress explanation for the ads (About these ads). For matters about the ads, write to WordPress Support at

3 Affiliates

This blog has NO affiliate programmes and has NO affiliates or third-party representatives or agents. We are not actively seeking any agency or affiliations.

3A. Donations

This blog doesn’t charge or ask for donations of any kind. This blog doesn’t hire or have representatives who solicit donations or the such.

4 Commenting

We have no formal commenting policy but take note of the points below:—

4A. Commenters & IP addresses

  • automatically and permanently logs (records) the IP address of every visitor to its domain and subdomains (where all hosted sites reside in).

This IP logging is exclusively the function of and we have no control over this — so it isn’t like we’re tracking you.

WordPress doesn’t release the IP data to us unless and until the visitor leaves a comment, in which case the data will be embedded in the comment. If you don’t wish your IP address to be known to us, please don’t leave comments here.

4B. Breaching & unsuitable comments

This blog will exercise its final and conclusive ruling on whether to remove or retain any material or comment, even though ‘freedom of speech’ should win out in most ordinary cases.

This blog will remove any comment, spam or other items without prior notice if they are (or are deemed to be):—

  • in breach of the laws of Hong Kong (the point of content origination)
  • in breach of the laws of the USA (the location of the WordPress hosting servers)

Such items will be undisplayed and archived for legal purposes.

This blog will decide whether or not any item is considered breaching or unsuitable — defamatory, obscene, offensive, abusive, adversarial, insulting, harassing, disrespectful, insincere, tangential, etc.

4C. Comments close after 30 days on all posts

The system automatically shuts commenting after 30 days of the article’s publication. Note that commenting is available only for some posts and pages.

4D. Comments once published are non-removable

You may request removal of your own comment while it is still held in moderation (i.e. still unpublished) by using the CONTACT FORM.

Otherwise, all comments once made public (i.e. published) are non-removable even upon the request by the original commenter.

As a user of this site, you make comments strictly at your own risk and you are solely responsible for the consequences of posting comments.

4E. Comments may be subject to amendment or redaction

This blog is in its right to amend or redact any comment or text for conciseness, clarity or language. Comments may be appended with inline riders to give effect to this purpose. Foreign-language comments may be subject to a free translation into English with no assurance of accuracy.

4F. Comments are the views of their commenters

Views expressed in the comments belong to and are liable by their own commenters. This blog doesn’t necessarily agree with the comment despite publishing it. This blog will moderate comments that are unduly opposing to other individuals. Feel free to disagree with others, but do so in a polite and respectful way.

4G. Commenting etiquette

This blog observes the general commenting practices since the days of USENET from the 1970s:—

  1. No “one-word comment.” We are not mindreaders. Say what you want to say. Don’t expect someone here can necessarily figure out what that single word should mean.
  2. No comment with just a video link and no other words. This can be considered an algorithm to drive traffic to other sites and WordPress reserves the right to report this to your ISP using your logged IP address.
  3. No requesting or bouncing off new topics in the comment threads. Use the CONTACT FORM to request a new topic coverage.
  4. Please comment in English. Foreign-language comments are welcomed but may be put to translation with no assurance of accuracy. Response time may also be delayed.

4H. Off-site (private) comments

Use the CONTACT FORM for this purpose.

Off-site comments on posts are welcome. This blog has the discretion to republish the matter in a fresh public post without notice to you. The option to identify you is also at our discretion, unless you expressly ask for some kind of anonymity.

4J. How we generally handle comments

We have no formal commenting policy — say whatever you like, but please remain reasonably on-topic and polite.

Comments and discussion are highly welcomed. Unlike many other blogs, we don’t censor comments or opinions. We don’t do badly behaved things like punish people by deliberately taking ages to approve comments or disallowing them, or banning commenters. If a comment is on-topic, we let it through even if we may not agree with it.

Please don’t use this blog to ‘break wind’ — try someplace else. This blog doesn’t accept comments or anything manifestly of a defamatory, rude or questionable character. This blog may consider formally lodging a complaint with the authorities.

This blog retains everything ever posted. Bad commenting may not necessarily be removed but it’s bound to be ‘graded’ out of 25 marks.

If you are happy to put in insane, invasive or incoherent comments (or all three and more), we’re just as happy to let you through.

This blog has a long history of letting through all sorts of strange, bizarre, outlandish comments, such as:—

off-topic remarks

off-colour remarks



galloping punctuation!!!???

bad motherf@#%ing swear words

excessive ~SARCASM~ with due ~RESPECT~ to the extent possible

overheated RHETORIC within the confines of the available contextual space

hyperinflated hyperboles with the force of 9,000 suns

ad hominem (personal) attacks, you yellow-livered sonofabitch


We love letting through seriously deranged comments on this site. If anything, you’re just building a case against yourself. Our readers love to have a sense of how mentally disturbed some people are, or can get.

5 Contributions & submissions for publication

We are not actively engaging guest contributors or collaborations at the moment.

Unsolicited copy and graphics are nevertheless welcomed but with no promise that this blog will run them. Use the CONTACT FORM to notify us and we’ll let you know what to do next.

Any contribution accepted for publication will be on a pro bono (no payment) arrangement because this blog is non-commercial and non-profit.

6 Copyright claims & takedown notices

This blog has no formal copyright policy, yet our standing habit is to byline and permalink to the source for anything used whenever possible.

We do this more for the sake of our knowing the provenance of the stuff rather than for legal reasons.

We operate on the basis of keeping copyright matters (and their potential costs) to the barest-possible minimum level without turning copyright inside out.

This blog makes a sincere effort to avoid using manifestly copyrighted material.

Be advised that some items have indeterminate or undeterminable copyright or ownership status when we got hold of them.

We obtain images, etc, from various imageboards, discussion forums, free wallpaper sites, etc. Some of these sources simply don’t provide any details of origin, copyright, etc, and therefore the ultimate status isn’t determinable or known by us.

If you happen to know where an item originated, we welcome the information.

6A. Copyright status of the blog

Nothing in this blog is produced or licensed under Creative Commons.

Let’s leave it at that for practical pragmatism.

Not everything on this blog is owned or created by us. Some are third-party materials. Some others have unverifiable or unknowable status.

Whatever the situation, somewhere in the post will indicate the source and/or status to the extent possible. Errors and omissions excepted, of course.

6B. Attribution

If you discover something that is yours without being given due attribution, please inform us using the CONTACT FORM. Attribution will be duly given, or the item be removed or replaced.

Owing to past hoaxes and trolling, all attribution notices left in the comment threads will be ignored.

For your claim to be legally valid and for our recordkeeping compliance, please provide the information below:—

  • your full name
  • your postal address
  • your contact details (e.g. email, website)
  • some kind of proof of ownership (e.g. URL to your site showing the work in question)

All such information furnished to us will be held in strict confidence and won’t be knowingly published.

6C. Takedown notices

Send all copyright claims or takedown notices initially using the CONTACT FORM. You may be required to details to our lawyer, but we will advise.

Owing to past hoaxes and trolling, all takedown notices left in the comment threads will be ignored.

For your claim to be legally valid and for our recordkeeping compliance, please provide the following information:—

  • your full name
  • your postal address
  • your contact details (e.g. email, website)
  • some kind of proof of ownership (e.g. URL to your site showing the work in question)

All such information furnished to us will be held in strict confidence and won’t be knowingly published.

6D. Site contains third-party materials

Third-party materials appearing in this site may or may not be governed by third-party rights. Unless indicated differently, not all images on this site are created or owned by this blog. All images appearing are for the purpose of illustrative aesthetics and/or visual aid to discussion. All images herein are NOT being used for commercial purposes, nor are they being intended for commercial invitation or monetary emolument.

Now see the section REPRODUCTION & DERIVATIVE WORKS below.

7 Deletions, updates & retractions

Otherwise known as “removability of items.”

We try to keep this blog displayable (and readable!) at all times. Occasionally we fail in this effort (a practical human limitation). Sometimes it’s the fault of the Internet.

7A. General aim

The M.O. for this blog is to REMOVE NOTHING AND RETAIN EVERYTHING. The aim is to preserve the content as much as possible in their original published form.

However, this blog may update or delete certain content at will without prior notice. Most probably it would be over some kind of webmastering issue. In the whole history of this blog, there has only been two instances of deleted posts — both being accidental releases of draft stories.

7B. Retractions

Not once has this blog retracted an article.

This blog does take the line of least resistance if the removal order was lawfully made (from a court of law, for instance).

Operationally, the particular article will be undisplayed and replaced with a placeholder webpage with a label stating:—

[Date]. Content removed per request or order stated in [link to the update post]. — The Management

Since the removal order will have been a lawfully made one, it follows that all parties will be named by virtue of the order itself being also a matter of public record. This is for due diligence and transparency as much as it is for the readers’ benefit.

7C. Reinstatement of deleted item

Deletion isn’t always terminal. As mentioned above, this blog has only ever deleted two unedited posts because of accidental release.

If you have a need to read a deleted post — and you’d be hard-pressed to find that situation — state your case. All reasonable requests considered, though some requests may be denied. Use the CONTACT FORM and provide the deleted article’s old URL that you have.

7D. Request to remove blog content

Sorry, you cannot ask us to remove something from this blog because it somehow displeases you — no site on Earth will entertain such a ridiculous and hostile request.

Everybody has the same 24 hours in the day; the rest is up to you.

We cannot possibly cater to the whims of various certain personages and sundry mewling quims whenever and howsoever they find something online that isn’t to their liking.

In other words, we cannot answer for — or be answerable to — those sundry others who have been brought up badly and behave like an odious little twat with no manners and a nuclear warhead shoved deep up their dry arses whenever they can’t stand the sight of something. I most certainly don’t behave like that, so why should anyone else get away with it? If you are displeased with things here, switch to another channel, I guess.

8 Hate mail, death threats, etc

Send all hate mail and death threats via the CONTACT FORM.

Like all online authors, I too receive hate mail. Hate mail goes hand in hand with blogging territory.

I have twice received pseudo-death threats — presumably for my writing (though both of those threats didn’t quite make this clear). That fact actually puts me in a rather select company of distinguished writers.

For some strange reason, around 91% of the hate mail for this blog complains about the blog’s language — that it’s in English, of all things. Many of the complaints also bitched about the English used here is “not academic” in tone.

Honestly, I”m floored by all this. (And, yes, I’ve kept all the hate mail I’ve ever received.)

9 Links

Some hyperlinks point to third-party sites.

This blog is not responsible and have no control over third-party sites. Those sites may have changed in nature, content or availability since the original time of hyperlinking.

The hyperlinking to those sites doesn’t indicate or imply approval, recommendation or endorsement of them.

Equally, incoming hyperlinks pointing to this blog site don’t indicate our approval of those outside sites.

Your discretion is advised. Your use of any hyperlink herein is strictly at your own risk and own judgment.

10 Privacy logs (records) the IP addresses of all visitors to its domain and subdomains (which this site is a part of).

This blog has no control over this recording process. WordPress doesn’t release this information unless and until the visitor actually posts a comment on this blog.

Owing to general privacy laws worldwide, this blog doesn’t not knowingly publish or publicise details about individual visitors or commenters to this blog site.

That being said, this blog reserves the right absolutely unto itself to publish the names, email address, IP address, website, etc, of anyone who leave comments that breach (or are deemed to breach):—

  • the laws of the USA (the location of the WordPress servers); and/or
  • the laws of Hong Kong (the point of content origination)

11 Requests & reposts

Can I make requests?

Sure you can — just don’t expect us to have what you’re looking for, though.

Use the CONTACT FORM and we’ll give you instructions on what to do.

All requests considered. No communication ignored, and you’ll always get some kind of reply from us. We may put your question and our answer as a featured post.

Can I repost your posts or info at my website, blog, etc?

By all means repost EXCERPTS. Please byline us and provide a permalink on your site or work pointing back to the actual page on this site.

Don’t reduplicate whole posts or the whole blog — that contravenes WordPress policy as well as being in breach of various intellectual property laws in various countries.

Sometimes this blog breaks its own rules and reblog an entire post from somewhere — yet this is done especially if that post seems in danger of disappearing altogether for whatever reason (and our post will explain).

Our standing ‘policy’ is to byline and permalink any material we reuse from others.

You should do the same for anyone else as minimum due diligence. If you don’t (or won’t), we’ll hunt you down and shove a grenade up your arse — mainly because you should be courteous enough to byline our sources even if you can’t byline us.

12 Representation & warranty

No one should rely on any information in this site to make any decision. Seek appropriate professional advice instead.

This blog makes no representation or warranty expressed or implied of any kind as to the completeness, timeliness, factuality, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of anything for any purpose whatsoever.

We disclaim all liability for any loss or damage, lost profits, lost data or any other claims resulting or arising from your use or forebearance of the contents. Your use of this blog and site is strictly at your own risk.

The Internet for over 20 years now is full of sites that offer all sorts of useful and useless (or damaging) content. Please exercise due care and diligence as well as your own finer judgment, and always account for variable change.

13 Reproduction & derivative works

Anything from this site is freely usable without advance notice to me, but you are legally required to observe one basic requirements if you do use:—

Non-commercial, non-profit use only

You are bound by that one overall legal condition — that any form of reproduction, reuse, requote or derivative work by you of anything from this blog (text, images, etc) is strictly for non-commercial purposes (because this blog is non-commercial and non-profit).

If in doubt about the points below, write to me before using via the CONTACT FORM.

13A. For images owned by me — free use + byline

For images and other graphical content created or owned by me (the page or post will indicate), you may freely use them in your work, document or website without advance notice to me. But you are legally required to use it for non-commercial purposes and to byline me with a permalink back to my relevant page/post.

Byline styles are (choose one):—

© Learn English or Starve

via Learn English or Starve

If my owned visuals are to be used (or have been used) in a printed or physical work, your use is considered to have allowed me one free physical copy plus the option to buy reasonable multiples of it (to be negotiated) at reduced or trade price. Commercial and other uses are strictly at my discretion on an individual basis.

13B. For text by me — excerpts + byline

I welcome excerpts, quotations and summarisations my words in your work, document or website without advance notice to me. They should only be for non-commercial use. Please byline me and permalink back to my relevant page/post.

Byline styles are (choose one):—

© Learn English or Starve

via Learn English or Starve

I would appreciate getting your notification, perhaps even scans or screenshots of your work’s title page and/or the relevant page, and I thank you in advance for your interest.

13C. Third-party materials licensed to me — contact me first

Certain third-party content herein have been specially licensed to me or released exclusively for this site. The words “Reproduced with permission” will indicate they are not for reproduction elsewhere. If you wish to use them, please contact me first and I’ll put you in touch with the creators.

13D. Other third-party materials — contact them, not me

Your discretion is advised when using any third-party materials from this site for any purpose. They may be governed by third-party rights. The page/post will show the source and/or hyperlink. Attribution to me is optional. For commercial reproduction, please contact the third party directly.

13E. Derivative work

Derivative work or commercial use of my created or owned content (text, images, etc) will be considered on an individual discretionary basis. Write to me prior to use (stating “Derivative Request” or “Commercial Request”) and include your full contact details.

Byline style:— “Original © Learn English or Starve“

The general guideline is that a non-commercial derivative work requires no advance notice to me, but does require (1) my byline, (2) a permalink back to my relevant page/post, and (3) a notification to me of the use.

13F. Commercial or other reproduction

Commercial or other reproduction is strictly at my discretion on an individual basis. Please email me direct or use the CONTACT FORM.

13G. Republishing or reduplication

No republishing or reduplication of whole pages or posts. Such requests will be considered on an individual discretionary basis. Please write to me (stating “Commercial Request”) and include your full contact details. Reduplication or republishing of the whole site will result in civil action for damages and criminal prosecution.

Now read the section COPYRIGHT CLAIMS & TAKEDOWN NOTICES above.

14 Sources & citations

Some articles will indicate it has an unpublished version that contains the sources. To request a copy of that sourced version, use the CONTACT FORM and make a case for your request. All requests will be carefully considered but some requests may still be denied.

Why won’t you cite your sources?

Pray tell, what IS the source of your frustration?

We will state sources whenever we can or deem appropriate. We’ll withhold them whenever we see fit. Nothing is ever even 75% truthful or verifiable, in case your mum didn’t tell you before.

Go to Copyscape or use various other anti-plagiarism tools, and you’ll find the content here is almost entirely unrepeated anywhere. It might be unrepeatable too. That is prima facie evidence of original content and not sponged off from somewhere. Regardless, the stuff is mostly verifiable with reputable sources, insofar as the Internet is concerned. Draw your own conclusions

Some things you have to take on faith — it isn’t always ‘knowledge.’

You have to do that sometimes, especially with a PERSONAL blog like this one.

What WE understand to be true obviously varies in mileage with YOUR beliefs. We have faith in you — you should have some in us in return. Faith makes the world go round.

“I can only do the best I can, and that is all I can do, with your help and God’s.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson after being inaugurated the 36th President of the USA, 1963

So you don’t believe in citations?

Let’s not shoehorn words into people’s mouths, lips and other orifices.


  • This is a PERSONAL blog and you have to make some allowances. Realise that this blog ISN’T an academic exercise or textbook, or a legal documentation website.


  • “Non-people sources” — such as Google, newspapers, statistics and academics (especially those in the humanities) — often turn out to be highly problematic in the end. Citations are enamoured by so many so frequently that they’ve ended up being nothing more than recycled circle-jerking citation loops. This ‘citation circularisation’ is worryingly widespread in many non-science academic fields — and you know this, you must do! — so I need not explain further.

Where is your information from then?

I ferret my information from a wide variety of sources. Mostly I tend to just work from memory when writing up a post.


  • The information comes mostly from talking to people — ordinary, famous and in-between; usually alive and not dead; or undead.


  • The info comes from a variety of sources (authoritative and anecdotal, and sometimes both in the same breath) and then combined. It isn’t practicable or necessarily wise to name or identify the sources even if in a figurative or allegorical sense. It can also be a tad inappropriate and socially unacceptable to cite everything, especially in a PERSONAL blog, shouldn’t you think? — It may be fine for YOU to do that, but your situation isn’t MY situation. In the end, you’re projecting your self-entitled attitudes on others.

A word to the wise:— In a word, proportionality.

Did your mother never tell you this?

If you believe our words are no more than lies, then it is because our words reflect that we’ve been lied to.

A word to the wise

Some people literally (not figuratively) forget that this is a BLOG — and a PERSONAL blog at that — and I wasn’t writing a normal academic research paper due for peer review.

That being the general case, it behooves (US: behoves) you to make allowances for the general lack of citations in the posts, unlike the situation we would normally expect to see in academic works.

This is my blog. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather want to have my own stuff here as much as possible or practicable — warts and all.

My contributors and I are trained philistines — defined as someone who eats potato crisps/chips with red wine — but we can’t speak intelligently as to why some people have periodic problems in thinking straight or what they manage to read into things when unsupervised.

I can’t trust your stuff if there are no citations

We thought we mentioned something a minute ago about making allowances.

We cannot pass judgment on YOUR fixation on citations. If you truly believe citations are the sine qua non of truthfulness and trustworthiness, then we congratulate you.

Be reminded that if you do have an inability to sort the wheat from the chaff due to the mere absence of citations, then reassess your own intellectual abilities.

In short, WE can’t trust YOU if you’re fixated on citations.

15 Typos & grammar

Comment threads are NOT the place to point out copyediting errors.

Grammar queries will be ignored altogether since this isn’t a grammar-related blog.

Everybody makes these mistakes from time to time, and we have our own human limitations for making them and correcting them.

We are not mindreaders either.

Please indicate the nature of your complaint or issue — not just leave a single word in the comment box in the hope that someone here will figure out what it should mean.

You have a typo there. Why won’t you fix it?

Is that the only thing you’re capable of commenting on?

Does your mind notice nothing else besides typos and grammatical mistakes?

Have you asked yourself why is this such an almighty irritation for you? Sexual frustration, perhaps?

Certain typos will never be ‘fixed’ because:—

To protect third-party rights of certain information or materials that appears in this site, be advised that we sometimes deliberately put in typos (including unique spelling forms) in the copy as backdoor trace against secret reuse of the material.

That’s why they don’t get fixed.

© Learn English or Starve, 02 June 2018. (B18072)

Published 13 June 2010.
Updated 02 June 2018 (GDPR of EU in force).