About Q & A

Updated 24 APR 2013 20 AUG 2013 (typo fixes)

WE have a secret agenda and various secret policies for the efficient, effective and effectual running of this site.

Our secret directives are in Q&A format below (some are not questions, you may notice).


Are you related to the Facebook group of the same name?

No relation whatsoever. They are them and we are us.

That group was (and probably still is) a pack of American ranters “who get pissed off when people come to our country [USA] and don’t bother to learn English.” It went defunct by 2011, courtesy of Facebook management. It resurrected sometime in 2012 and now serve served as a holding bin for English-language tuition spam.

Update 24 APR 2013: Facebook has completely purged that group.

By contrast, our name derives from the old-fashioned English usage [Verb or noun], or starve! meaning to do (or to be) the ‘whatever’ or suffer the consequences of being left by the wayside.


Your site sucks!

Your crackwhore mum. Your degenerate dad. And your retarded bitch-slapped stepsister. The meaning of life is purple: your argument is invalid.


Are you a grammar nazi?

Are you kidding me? See the About and Statement. I’m against grammar nazism!

I will say I’m a prescriptivist, though.

I agree that proper grammar, spelling and punctuation add to the flow of a good read. While there are many out there who just don’t bother with these things (because of laziness or some other reason), I wouldn’t pass up a good read because of a few errors. All things being equal, the ‘message’ overrides the presentation, if you get my meaning.

Very many bloggers are just exhausted Average Joes writing at home while holding down jobs or raise kids. Some have never had formal instruction in writing. Some simply disagree that so many writing rules are necessary. I prefer the rules myself, but I also operate on common sense and read all that’s worth reading, properly grammarised, spelt or punctuated or not.

If as a prescriptivist I am easygoing and not fussy about English-language usage (especially in a real-life setting), then those who claim, assert or proclaim (or lie) that they are descriptivists (or, at any rate, non-prescriptivists) ought to reassess their position and involvement with the English language — to say nothing about their attitude to other people’s use of English.


Do you really hate grammarfags?

We don’t hate per se, but those people are not the friendliest to others. On the surface, they appear to be helpful. After having met some of them in person, we can personally vouch that they, jointly and severally, are not as they seem.


Posting frequency

We post whenever we feel like it, mainly because:—

  • we have no coverage plan
  • we have no posting timetable
  • the subject matter (anti-grammarfaggotry) is so uninspired and uninspiring generally even when we’re on steroids, amphetamines and barbituates combined

You should subscribe via email signup (recommended) or RSS (less recommended).


Why won’t you post on correct grammar and usage?

There are already numerous sites about that, and many are highly reputable. The nature and mission of this site are given in About.


Will you be posting about usages in other languages?

Does it look like we have that stuff here? Our site name should be clue enough. This site is on the English language. We may, however, post something about other languages but that’s incidental and always in relation to English.


Will you be charging or asking for donations?

No, why should we do that? Even if we did, you get nothing in return. Why, are you offering?


What’s up with those advertisements?

This is a free site hosted on WordPress.com, which hosts only free blogs. This is a not-for-profit, non-commercial site. We derive no income, emoluments or other valuable consideration from this site.

We are not responsible for the ads. The advertisements are from Google Ads and put in here by WordPress, not by us. These advertisements are wholly separate from this site. We have no control over them and cannot accept responsibility over what ads WordPress puts into here.

Read the official WordPress explanation for the ads: About These Ads.

If you have an issue with the ads, contact WordPress directly at support@wordpress.com.


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

By all means repost excerpts of our posts. Please byline us and provide a permalink on your site or work to the actual page on our site for anything you’ve reused.

Don’t reduplicate whole posts or the whole blog — that contravenes WordPress policy as well as in breach of various copyright and intellectual property laws in various countries. Sometimes we break our own rules and reblog an entire post from elsewhere (especially if we think that post might be in danger of disappearing altogether) — but we’ll always byline and permalink it to the original site.

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.


Can I make requests?

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

Email us using the Contact form and we’ll tell 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 contribute my own stories or images?

Depends. Email us using the Contact form and we’ll tell you instructions on what to do. We decide whether to run your submission or not. If we agree to run your contribution, understand it will be on a pro bono basis. (We would prefer it otherwise, but, alas…)

It’s nice that you want to contribute, but consider starting your own blog. We use WordPress.com (the free host, not WordPress.org for self-hosting) and so should you: it’s feature-packed and one of the easiest blogging platforms available.


I’d like to become an affiliate.

You wanna be associated with us? You’d better rethink about that.


Do you write about celebrity tutors, famous people, etc?

Maybe, maybe not. Not especially. It depends. Contact us and state your case.


What is your commenting policy?

We don’t have a commenting policy.

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

We have a long history of letting through all manners of strange, bizarre, outlandish comments on this site. We let through:—

  • off-topic remarks
  • off-colour remarks
  • off-your-rockers remarks
  • galloping punctuation!!!???
  • bad motherf@#%ing swear words
  • excessive sarcasm, with due respect to the extent possible
  • overheated rhetoric, within the limits and confines of the available contextual space
  • hyperinflated hyperbole
  • ad hominem (personal) attacks, you yellow-livered sonofabitch
  • etc

We also accept (and may republish) your off-site comments to our posts.

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.


In what case would you remove comments?

We go to extraordinary lengths to retain everything that appears on this site. We remove nothing. Our aim is to preserve everything online forever. Scared now?

Seriously, we will remove comments that are deemed to be in breach of the laws of Hong Kong (where the Author of this blog is based) or the laws of the USA (where WordPress hosting servers are located).


Do you exercise censorship?

With respect to comments, no.

We don’t promote material or comments of manifestly defamatory, rude or questionable character. If you need to ‘break wind,’ try someplace else.

Unlike other language-related sites, we don’t censor opinions. We don’t punish people by deliberately taking ages to approve comments or disallowing them, or banning commenters.

Will we disallow personal attacks and defamatory comments? Haven’t received any so far, so we’ll play it by ear. If there are to be any personal attacks or defamatory comments, be sure we’ll preserve them online forever.

Note:— WordPress permanently records the IP addresses of all visitors to its wordpress.com domain and subdomains, so it isn’t like we’re tracking you.

Again, we will censor or otherwise remove any comments that are deemed to be in breach of the laws of Hong Kong (where the Author of this blog is based) or the laws of the USA (where the WordPress hosting servers are located).


Where do you get your information?

We’re trained philistines (defined as one who eats potato crisps/chips with red wine), but we can’t speak intelligently as to why some people have periodic problems thinking straight, or what they manage to read into things when unsupervised.

The short answer — Mostly from talking to people (ordinary, famous and in-between, usually alive and not dead or undead).

The long answer — Our info comes from a variety of sources (authoritative and anecdotal, sometimes in the same breath) and combine them. It isn’t practicable or necessarily wise to name or identify 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?

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.


Why won’t you cite your sources?

Pray tell, what IS the source of your frustration?

If you go to Copyscape or use various other anti-plagiarism tools, you’ll find our content is almost entirely unrepeated anywhere. It might be unrepeatable too.

Regardless, our stuff is mostly verifiable with reputable sources, insofar as the Internet is concerned. Draw your own conclusions.

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.

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 LEOS. 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.

The short answer is that this is a personal blog and you have to make some allowances.

The long answer is that 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 enamoured by so many frequently are nothing more than recycled circle-jerking citations. This ‘citation circularisation’ is worryingly widespread in many non-science academic disciplines — you know this, you must do! — so I need not explain further.

Know that this blog isn’t an academic exercise or textbook or legal documentation website.


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

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

We’re in no position to pass judgment on your fixation on citations. If you truly believe citations are the sine qua non of truthfulness and trustworthiness, then I congratulate you.

Be reminded, though, that if you do have an inability to sort the wheat from the chaff due to the mere absence of citations, reassessment of your own intellectual abilities is definitely called for.

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


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

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

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?

Especially stupid are those single-word comments. They try (sarcastically) to correct a typo or grammatical mistake without so much as a rough indication of what the comment was about (e.g. a comment containing just one or two words trying to correct something in the original post).

We’re not mindreaders: kindly indicate your kungfu gripe.

If you can’t handle something this simple, then you aren’t smart enough to comment at all.

Be reasonable — please don’t claim you couldn’t (or you claim others couldn’t) understand even the gist of the article because of one or two typos or grammatical mistakes. By virtue of your making a comment, you’ve shown you have no such claim, savvy?

Srsly, it isn’t as though the standard of language on this site is so out of kilter that it presents a barrier to your comprehension. You need to up your reading fluency, and we hazard to say you’d most probably benefit from some sort of exercise in reading comprehension (for your sake if not ours).

Overall grammatical correctness of the language in this site is in the top 93rd percentile. Moreover, it passes the ’75/25′ rule of thumb on active/passive voice usage. This is a personal blog (not a corporate, institutional or educational website), so we use more contractions than normal.

Be aware that, despite our writing very grammatically (and contractions are grammatical too), we fudge our spellings and grammar on purpose for special effect (if you’ve paid any attention at all).

P.S. A one-word sentence is technically an ungrammatical sentence. Period.


Why won’t you just fix the typo? Is it that hard?

Why won’t you just skip the typo? Is it that hard?

The real reason some typos don’t get fixed, smarty pants, is this:—

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, 2012. (B12360)

Images: Lies tilework via Veterans Today | “English is our language…” via c4c.

First published 15 Oct 2012
Updated 25 Oct 2012 (minor amendments)
Updated 21 Nov 2012 (reheadlined, re-menuing, minor amendments)
Updated 24 Apr 2013 (adding commenting policy para)
Updated 22 Apr 2014 (minor amendments)

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