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A dedicated ELL contributor has just brought a grammar issue in a review queue prompt to our attention (thank you Davo!). Grammar error in Review

enter image description here

Apparently the reason description under the "Not suitable for this site" close category contains an error: "a" precedes a word starting with a vowel where "an" should be used. I am not sure this is something that affects other sites whose names also start with vowels--it would appear so--but it has been spotted on ELL where I am a moderator. This issue doesn't seem fixable within the scope of tools made available to mods. How do we fix this?

Possible solution: Shall we just change the description to "This question doesn't meet [site name] guidelines"?

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  • 5
    Yes, I think it does. See this screenshot from AskUbuntu. It should say an AskUbuntu guideline.
    – Ollie
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 17:29
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    I like your possible solution.
    – Ollie
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 17:37
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    Same situation at ELU, too.
    – Davo
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 17:39
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    It isn't just the review - it's also the flag list, under Needs Improvement --> Doesn't meet a AskUbuntu guideline. Changing it to "doesn't meet [site-name] guidelines" would be a much better grammatical solution than just "a" for all sites.
    – Ollie
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 17:53
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    Eddie, I changed the support to bug, as it is a grammatical bug. This post is also tagged with bug, if you seek validation.
    – Ollie
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 20:29
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    @Ollie Yeah that makes sense. Thanks!
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 20:35
  • Related: Pluralization bug Commented Sep 16, 2020 at 13:04
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    Still a bug in April 2021.
    – Davo
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 17:12
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    @Davo Apparently not the company's priority.
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 17:14

1 Answer 1

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Yes, it looks like it does affect the other sites - see this screenshot from Ask Ubuntu:

enter image description here

I also agree with your possible solution of changing it to:

"This question doesn't meet [site name] guidelines"

It would be way easier than correcting all the grammar errors for each site with this issue, easier than switching from "a" to "an". It would be a much better grammatical solution than just "a".

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    There probably only is one string in the Razor view This question doesn't meet a @(SiteName) guidelines. They can't correct all the grammar errors for each site. Your proposed solution is most likely the only option.
    – rene
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 18:02
  • Imagine changing 174 grammar errors in each site... shudders
    – 10 Rep
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 20:11
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    @10Repisn'tactiveonMSE I don't want to ;). That would be nuts.
    – Ollie
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 20:11
  • I actually prefer the proposed solution but why is it the only option? All is needed is checking whether or not @(SiteName) starts with a vowel to decide whether to use a or an. Am I missing something?
    – 41686d6564
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 20:18
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    @41686d6564 don't forget that there are also non-english sites that run on the same code base. You don't want to add too much logic that only makes sense for English sites. If a one fix suits all exists it is preferred I guess.
    – rene
    Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 20:23
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    @41686d6564 It doesn't work for all vowels. For example, you wouldn't say "an Unix & Linux" because the initial sound is not a vowel. I don't have data as to whether making an exception for u would be sufficient among the sites in the network, but it certainly doesn't work for all words starting with u because some of those actually start with a vowel sound. In any case, it's not worth it, because another site could come along that has an exception. Commented Sep 15, 2020 at 23:31

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