I just tried to @/at two people in one comment and I think the message reads rather weird:

enter image description here

I am notifying two people, but, this message just reads very weird to me. (Others think the same! I checked on Super User chat to make sure it isn't just me as I am not the best at Grammar!)

I think it should be changed to:

"Only one user can be notified at a time. The post owner will automatically be notified"

or, I think better

"Only one user can be notified by you. The post owner will automatically be notified"

What do you think?

  • If you really want clear wording: "The post owner is always notified, even if you don't use @user."
    – user102937
    Aug 22, 2011 at 21:50
  • Or: "even if you don't use @the-actual-username-you're-trying-to-use". That still wouldn't explain why you're blocked from writing the comment. It sure felt weird to see this message for the first time. @Robert
    – slhck
    Aug 22, 2011 at 21:54
  • @Robert Harvey - I was working more on the first half... yeah, the second bit needs work as well! Aug 22, 2011 at 21:54
  • 1
    I just assumed that people using @user know what that means.
    – user102937
    Aug 22, 2011 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


I would guess that there's a quite-reasonable bias against lengthening the text of this notification message, but I think it would be somewhat clearer to say:

Only one @user notification is allowed per comment.
(Remember that the post owner is always notified, so you don't need to use @user.)

That said, I'm not sure what you think is confusing or grammatically/stylistically strange about the way it is currently written. The @user notation seems to be one that is pretty universally understood, especially by people who are trying to use it in their comments.

  • 1
    Good point about people understanding @user... Personally, my problem is only really with the word "additional"... Just think it is weird. I hate to be one of "those" people correcting grammar, especially when my own isn't that good... but... when I saw this, I just thought "what!", and asked others who agreed - and as other people seem to suggest things on here, I thought "why not!" Aug 23, 2011 at 10:30
  • 1
    @William: Oh, I see what you're objecting to now! It isn't "one additional" user, it's one user. The "additional" requires you to make the connection between the post owner being automatically notified and the @user syntax, which don't at all look the same to an outsider unfamiliar with implementation details. On second thought, I'm not sure how I missed that myself! I guess I was following the Meta discussion about it before I ever read the error message. Aug 23, 2011 at 10:35

The message isn't very clear, and others have proposed better texts. I'm wondering why not skip the message altogether and just send the notification to all the @users? I know it's status-by-design, but why not?

  • That's a totally different question. It's been discussed to the death on Meta already. Have you tried searching? Start reading here, then here. Aug 24, 2011 at 17:43
  • @Cody your reading list has absolutely nothing to do with my answer, IMO. Have you tried reading my answer? For your convenience, I've put a bold font where it matters.
    – GUI Junkie
    Aug 24, 2011 at 17:46

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