Apart from the occasional accidental internet tourist who strays onto my blog, looks at it for five minutes (I know Dave, more like five seconds - no need to tell me) and then never visits again, my readership consists almost solely of people known personally to me - people I've been to the pub with.
Because of that it's with a little reluctance that I'm about to post an invitation to join me on a discussion board. I've been on it for quite a few years now and who knows what things I may have posted that refer to people I know? I can't remember everything I've done today let alone everything I've posted on a discussion board on the internet.
Anyway, here's the invitation.
Come and join us at
We are in need of some new blood over there and personally I'd hate to see one of my favourite internet hangouts disappear through a gradual but pernicious decline in interest.
What's it all about?
Primarily language but don't let that put you off. A look at recent topics reveals that we are, or have been, discussing
1 - Our regular bluffing game (more of which later)
2 - The (over)use of the metaphor "through the looking glass" by everybody from sports writers to Al-Jazeera
3 - whether saying "recalictrant instead of "stubborn" makes you arrogant
4 - "American Exceptionalism"
5 - grammatical gender
6 - Dilbert and The Office
7 - whether "muckle" is a real word
8 - a whole bunch of really awful puns
9 - our regular limerick game (also more of which later)
10 - The bizarre list of words banned in NY on student exam papers
11 - the linguistic peculiarities of Chicago's Mayor Daley
12 - my latest poem about my current flatmate
13 - Saint George's Day
Some of those sound a little heavy but, trust me, we discuss everything in a pretty light-hearted way and see ourselves more as a nice friendly place to discuss stuff with friends than an overly-dour academic resource.
This is shown by our popular word game threads where we do puns, crazy definition games, limericks, world's worst jokes and whatever else from time to time takes our fancy.
There is also a weekly online chat though at the moment I can't take part in that because I'm living in China and the time-difference is a killer.
We have also had a couple of actually honest-to-goodness get-togethers and met each other in person in the USA or the UK
So, if you have any interest at all in language come on over and take a look.
Remember the address is
And if you stumble on anything that looks as if I wrote it about you then please be assured it's actually about some other Dave/Pete/Phil/John/Jill/Silvia/whoever and not actually about you at all. Honest!
The Creation of the Manchu Script.
6 hours ago