Apparently pingbacks (basically, links to your post from other blog posts) count as comments, and (at least, as far as representation on the post’s page is involved) go in the same comment-approval queue. I hadn’t yet seen enough of either to figure out whether they are mixed in with the actual comments or go separately on the post’s actual page (I’ve seen blogs that do either), but either way it’s a bit weird (though a separate listing is much less weird than a mixed one).
But then there’s self-pingbacks. (In other words, when your post is linked from your own later post.) I can kind of understand why the underlying WordPress software might have problems telling these things from actual pingbacks originating from other places, but they still don’t really have place among regular comments (or even regular pingbacks).
(Yes, there are blogs that approve self-pingbacks. It actually seems to be rarer for a blog to approve regular pingbacks but not self-pingbacks; Language Hat is about the only one I’ve seen.)
So far, the best solution I could find is to directly unapprove self-pingbacks while accepting everything else (to be revised when said “everything else” is not an empty set). I’d be happy to find out if there’s something better (that doesn’t require me to pay).
On a side note, I’ve been told by a reader of my blog (yes, I have readers now! yeah! though to be fair, I told him personally, so that might not really count) that my Language Log commentary posts are unintelligible without the corresponding original.
So they are. It’s a bit unfortunate, but should have been expected, because, to be honest, I never intended anyone to read them without being aware of what Language Log is (though even that might not have helped).
For the record, if you happen to know where current Language Log is, the classic posts are available at the “posts before 2008 here” link in the right tab; then click at any post in that right tab, and change the number in the resulting URL to whatever you’re searching for.
Or just follow the 404 link in my commentary post #4 and change the number from there. That might actually be easier.