I know people have been having more trouble with it lately. I'm going to take it off as an experiment. I've had it on so long, I've forgotten what it was like without it, and who knows if whatever it was will be the situation now? So please don't over-rejoice at its removal, because I might have to turn it back on. I presume I'll get a spate of horrible spam, including endless commercial links dumped in the early morning hours in thousands of old (and new) threads. You think the word verification is difficult, but I can't spend hours a day finding and deleting spam.
If (when) I put the word verification back on, here's a tip: Click the ⟳ until you get one that you find relatively easy to see. Don't waste your time attempting a difficult one.
UPDATE, next morning: It was a pretty good, low-spam over-night here on the blog. I think only 5 or 6 spam comments came in (only one of which was caught by the spam filter, but I found them because I get all comments emailed to me).