[Ngrams](https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=caught+flu%2Ccaught+the+flu%2Ccaught+measles%2Ccaught+the+measles%2Ccaught+plague%2Ccaught+the+plague%2Ccaught+influenza%2Ccaught+the+influenza&year_start=1900&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ccaught%20flu%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20the%20flu%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20measles%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20the%20measles%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20plague%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20the%20plague%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20influenza%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccaught%20the%20influenza%3B%2Cc0) (572 characters)
This link took up 95.3% of my comment and left me with 28 characters to use as an explanation. Google does not provide a link shortening service along with Ngrams and it's too time-consuming to go and get it shortened.
As Jeff said here, this is not a technical issue but a cosmetic one:
shortening is cosmetic, not actually written to the [database]
My example is an extreme case but if you want to link to several things, your comment is taken up by your links.
If you put in a non-magic link with less than 24 characters then the link is excluded from the count( see here†) what about extending this to mini-markdown's "magic links" as well?
Why are long links penalised in this way?
† Just in case anyone was going to blame Ngrams, StackExchange is guilty too; my link in this question amount to 158 characters, over a quarter of the comment word limit.
[see here](https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8382/nitpick-comment-character-length-limit-is-less-than-600-when-you-include-a-url/8386#comment15100_8382) (158 characters)