Like other commenters here, I think the idea of personalising the Reply link is a very good one, particularly in terms of removing ambiguity. I get the impression that quite a few newbie commenters don’t really grasp what the link actually does.
Is there a simple way of using your stripped-down comment author’s name to personalise a Cancel Reply link? I’m customising Twenty Twelve on a local server, and in the child comments.php I’ve had the line “’cancel_reply_link’ => ‘Or click here to cancel a reply to this commenter’,” (which immediately follows “Leave a comment?” ). It seems silly to refer to “this commenter” when the Reply link itself is personalised, so I’ve been trying out my next-to-nonexistent PHP skills with versions of “’cancel_reply_link’ => ‘Or click here to cancel a reply to ‘ . $author,”, but without success. For the time being, I’ve changed the line to “’cancel_reply_link’ => ‘Or click here to cancel this reply’”, which is OK, but if you know a simple way of personalising the Cancel Reply link, I’d appreciate a note below.
Incidentally, if any readers of your post wish, like me, to add a question mark (or some other text) after the stripped-down comment author’s name, the line “$link = str_replace($reply_link_text, ‘Reply to ‘ . $author. ‘?’, $link);” works — and is probably the closest I’ve ever come to writing PHP, even if it was achieved only by brute-force trawling through various permutations of full stops and commas. As a further incidental, I’ve enclosed the question mark in a span, so that the question mark ceases to be displayed on hover.