Nine years ago I hit a button and the very first LH post emerged from the ether, wagging its tail and looking for company. These last nine years would have been far less enjoyable and educational for me without it, which is to say without you, the readers and commenters (for I would have abandoned it long ago without you—listening to one’s own voice quickly palls), and I wish I could wax eloquent and perhaps dig up some more gems from the archive, as I did last year… but alas, I’m in the final throes of copyediting (a very interesting book, looking at the last few centuries BCE from the point of view of the relations between Persia and Egypt rather than, as is customary, those between Persia and Greece), and all I can do is tip my hat to y’all and hope I have more leisure for my decennial post next year. Meanwhile, have fun and stick around.

Oh, and here’s something to chew on; I don’t have time to investigate it myself at the moment, but “Statistical Laws Governing Fluctuations in Word Use from Word Birth to Word Death,” by Alexander M. Petersen, Joel Tenenbaum, Shlomo Havlin, and H. Eugene Stanley, looks pretty interesting.


  1. Happy blogoversary!

  2. ¡Feliz aniversario!

  3. Gene Stanley’s been around for a while– I saw him give a presentation in solid-state physics in the ’70’s. He was a famously manic and disorganized lecturer– I recall that he scribbled added notes on projected transparencies and then would erase them with his shirttail, and scribble over them again.

  4. Congratulations on consistently providing entertaining, educational commentary and links to all manner of interesting linguistic and literary arcana.

  5. ¡Feliz aniversario!

  6. Happy anniversary!

  7. By the way, random question: is it harder to copyedit a book that you find interesting than one that you don’t? Does engagement interfere with the needed sticklerism? (Or, conversely, is it harder to find a book interesting if you’re copyediting its prose than if you’re just reading it for pleasure?)

  8. Thank you, Mr Hat. Lang may yer lum reek.

  9. Congrats. Nine years? Amazing. Thanks for letting me tag along.

  10. Kári Tulinius says

    Supercongrats! I have been reading your blog for about six or so of these nine years and I can say without reservation that it has brought me nothing but joy in all these years. Thank you.

  11. Happy Blogoversary Mr. Hat! The internet is a much more interesting place with you around!

  12. Поздравляю с девятилетием!

  13. is it harder to copyedit a book that you find interesting than one that you don’t? Does engagement interfere with the needed sticklerism?
    A good question. Basically, the answer is no; it would be a problem if I were being paid by the hour, since I would have to keep careful track of the time that I spent running around looking up stuff that I found interesting but had nothing to do with the edit, but since I’m paid by the job, I can spend as much time on my own pleasure as I like, so long as I get it in by the deadline. Actually, it’s a bit harder to edit the boring jobs, since the eye tends to glaze.

  14. Bouôn pid, bouôn yi, bouonne dent, et l’Paradis à la fîn d’vos jours!

  15. komfo,amonan says

    Congrats & thank you, Mr Hat, for creating a space that brings all these wonderful folks together. (Hot tip: if you wanna bring it next year, start sketching out the post now, while you’re thinking about it.)

  16. Happy anniversary-birthday, Languagehat!

  17. I’ve been reading your blog for years, and it has been a consistent source of jollies. Happy birthday, and many happy returns.

  18. start sketching out the post now, while you’re thinking about it
    Oh, if only I were that organized! In elementary school, I wrote my papers on the bus the day they were due, and I’m afraid I haven’t changed all that much since.

  19. Happy Anniversary!

  20. It would be reasonable to say that you can leave your Hat on now, having gone this far.

  21. Meal do naidheachd, a charaid!

  22. Happy Anniversary, Hat! As you know, I love this place.

  23. Go mbeirimid beo ar an am seo arís!

  24. rootlesscosmo says

    Mazel tov!

  25. Поздравляем,
    I am slowly reading back to the beginning…

  26. Peter Austin says

    Happy anniversary and thanks for many interesting and entertaining posts – you are an inspiration

  27. Happy anniversary! *tips hat back*
    And good luck with the copyediting.

  28. And good luck with the copyediting.
    Pro tip: Always do a second read. Every time I get disgruntled and think “Do I really need to read the whole thing again?” and every time I find at least one bad mistake in almost every chapter I missed the first time around.

  29. Congratulations on your ninth birthday. Can’t wait for the tantrums of this blog’s teenage years.

  30. כ’ווינטש אייך נאך אריכות-ימים, שעפערישקייט, און בייסיקן שכל.

  31. כ’ווינטש אייך נאך אריכות-ימים, שעפערישקייט, און בייסיקן שכל.
    יפה מאד!

  32. Congrats on 9 bloody fine years of languagehat. I was there the day you dared to do it, on that crude little blueberry iMac G3 surrounded as you were by those piles and piles of reading matter and that crap we both were paid big bucks to keep lies from being obvious lies–we turned bad lies into clinically trialed proven “truths,” though we knew all those pretty words no matter how dressed up in truth-like shrouds they became when compared to placebos (sugar pills) were still just plain ole lies. I remember when our redheaded boss came in one day and told me to tell you to clean up your workstation area–why? I asked, because it disgusted her, she said. She was an easily disgusted and disgusting woman (may she RIP).
    I always knew you had the intellectual and linguistic capabilities of making languagehat work–otherwise, you wouldn’t be my friend now for going on 30 years, old pal.
    How ’bout 9 more years of tipping your hat our way?
    Ur fiend (friend),
    thegrowlingwolf (one who doesn’t mind listening to his own voice–and I, too, have a huge collection of hats)

  33. Nine years! Well done, my sincerest contrafibularities on an auspicious anniversary. Profoundly sincere thanks, too for all the education yur posts have provided, aided and enhanced by the eclectic erudition evident in the comments. I look forward to many more.

  34. Happy blogoversary, indeed!

  35. 誕帽子おめでとう!

  36. I understand that first posting no more than I understand this one, but it’s been fun reading them along the way.

  37. Happy Anniversary!
    Of the blogs I’ve been following over the years, quite a few have fallen by the wayside because their writers have lost their enthusiasm, so thanks for still wanting to talk to us.

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