The text "comments disabled on deleted / locked posts / reviews" is misleading. It requires a second reading to understand that "deleted / locked posts / reviews" doesn't mean "deleted, locked posts and reviews".

Could you please change it to something more easily parsable like "comments disabled on deleted/locked posts/reviews".

  • 4
    Lists are separated with commas, not slashes, so I'm not really sure I'm getting this. Your complaint is that the slashes are separated with spaces? – Cody Gray Jul 26 '13 at 14:18
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    He means it looks like deleted, locked posts, or reviews – Old Checkmark Jul 26 '13 at 14:19
  • Which is incorrect, since lists are separated by commas, not slashes. – Joe Jul 26 '13 at 14:20
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    "Comments disabled on deleted or locked posts/reviews" might be more clear....? – Bart Jul 26 '13 at 14:21
  • btw, the "add comment" link just disappeared on me just now. What the heck, that was so random. – Old Checkmark Jul 26 '13 at 14:22
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    It should only show "locked" on locked posts, "deleted" on deleted ones and "reviews" for reviews. Lazy Stack Overflow team :-| – hjpotter92 Jul 26 '13 at 14:22
  • @Joe - It may be incorrect, but it's still an easy mistake to make. I misread it myself at first. – Ben Barden Jul 26 '13 at 14:22
  • btw guys, what does "reviews" mean in this context? – Old Checkmark Jul 26 '13 at 14:23
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    @OldCheckmark When reviewing close votes in the review queue, this appears in place of "add comment" on the "duplicate" questions for questions in the queue as potential duplicates (you can comment on the closure candidate, but not on the proposed duplicate). I'm not sure where else it shows up (or if it shows up anywhere else). – yoozer8 Jul 26 '13 at 14:25
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    @CodyGray & Joe: Wikipedia says for slashes “The slash is most commonly used as the word substitute for "or" which indicates a choice”, so I guess you could argue that this is indeed a list. Furthermore a space is usually not used except when one of the items contains a space as well. So the grouping of “locked posts” definitely makes sense. In any case, I agree with hjpotter92 that the message should just be specific here. – poke Jul 26 '13 at 17:55
  • "deleted/locked posts/reviews" is worse than "deleted / locked posts / reviews". Is it only the spaces or am I missing something? Or was it recently changed? – Dukeling Jul 27 '13 at 13:58
  • How about "comments disabled on reviews or deleted/locked posts" or "comments disabled on deleted/locked posts or reviews"? – Dukeling Jul 27 '13 at 13:59

When in doubt, remove the shortcuts.

comments disabled on deleted or locked posts and reviews

Of course, the ultimate in unambiguity is to use software to remove the "and" and "or" and select the correct statement to display depending on actual context:

  • comments on locked posts are disabled
  • comments on locked reviews are disabled
  • comments on deleted posts are disabled
  • comments on deleted reviews are disabled
  • Though I'd love to read the discussion where this decision was made. Sounds like a lovely way to decrease transparency, and increase confusion as to why an action might have been taken. – Adam Davis Jul 29 '13 at 15:38
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    Still kind of ambiguous – Old Checkmark Jul 29 '13 at 15:50
  • @OldCheckmark Only ambiguous for those with a poor understanding of english - there is no way to group portions of it incorrectly without leaving sentence parts out, so it is technically unambiguous. However, we do have a lot of users where english is not their first language, and making it overly clear is useful, so I've edited my answer with another single sentence option, as well as the ideal situation. – Adam Davis Jul 30 '13 at 15:36
  • Haha I don't know about the new one, I read "reviews that have been locked or deleted", which doesn't make a lot of sense, especially in view of what Jim said here – Old Checkmark Jul 30 '13 at 15:37
  • @OldCheckmark You're right, removed. – Adam Davis Jul 31 '13 at 13:50

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