1

What should I do if a user sends a screenshot with a deleted offensive message in a chatroom?

It makes me feel unsure when there are so many articles in a short sentence but, as for me, each of these articles is needed: they are used to indicate that every noun is indefinite. Is this grammatically correct? Maybe I should rephrase the sentence?

By the way, if I had used another form of this sentence would it has been okay?

What should I do if a user sends a screenshot with the history of a deleted offensive message in a chatroom?

This is a question for other moderators and it is exactly about the screenshot of the already deleted message. (I'm a moderator too.)

  • 1
    You may want to add a little detail about the context of this sentence, i.e. that you were asking to get advice from other moderators about a what to do in a general situation (even though there was a specific situation that caused you to ask). Knowing that context made me interpret your sentence a little differently. – ColleenV Aug 16 '18 at 20:28
4

What should I do if a user sends a screenshot with a deleted offensive message in a chatroom?

The only thing I would change in your sentence would be the preposition after "screenshot" to "...a screenshot of a deleted..." If the offensive message wasn't the reason for the screenshot and it was just captured by mistake, you might say instead "...a screenshot that contained a deleted offensive message..."

I don't think the indefinite articles are a problem at all. You're asking about a general situation, so there is no specific screenshot/user/message/chat room that would require the definite article. If you wanted to, you could say "in chat" instead of "in a chatroom", but I don't think it makes much difference in the readability of your sentence.

6

I respectfully disagree with Native English speaker: both your sentences look perfectly natural to this native English speaker. I can understand why a Russian speaker like yourself might be intimidated by all those indefinite articles, but they really don't bother me at all.

  • 5
    I agree. I wonder if I would have even noticed the string of four indefinite articles if they weren't highlighted in the original sentence. – J.R. Aug 16 '18 at 20:25
-3

The sentence may be grammatically correct but is uncomfortable to read, in which case it should be rephrased, as you have already recognised.

The problem with that particular sentence (which grammatically is fine) is that it feels repetitious like reading a list. (Shopping lists may be useful but very boring to read!). Also, much of the information obscures your message instead of adding to it, so that could be moved into a separate sentence. Finally replace duplicated words with synonyms to introduce more variety.

For example:

What should I do if someone sends me an offensive message in a chatroom? One user sent me a screenshot of an offensive message they had deleted, which I found objectionable myself.

  • Thanks! Can you please upgrade your example taking this: this is a question for other moderators and it is exactly about the screenshot of the already deleted message? So, it is important to save the emphasis on the screenshot of the deleted message, not on the message itself. – Aer Aug 16 '18 at 19:15
  • I'm not sure myself what the question your want to ask is? Is it something like: Dear Moderators, Can you please tell me how I should report a user sending an offensive message? A chatroom user sent me the screenshot of a deleted offensive message. The screenshot itself was offensive, and I wish you to take appropriate action to censure this user. - There are really separate 3 sentences here: your question about procedures, the case facts, and the action you want. – Native English speaker Aug 16 '18 at 19:32
  • No, I am a moderator too :) And I ask advice from my colleagues. – Aer Aug 16 '18 at 19:33
  • 1
    So it is more like: Dear Colleagues, Can you please advise me how I should handle a user sending an offensive message? A chatroom user sent me the screenshot of a deleted offensive message, and I found the screenshot itself offensive. What action would you take yourselves? - but still separate 3 sentences. – Native English speaker Aug 16 '18 at 19:36
  • Respectfully, the example sentence is FAR more uncomfortable to read than the one in the OP, in my opinion. – Aethenosity Aug 16 '18 at 21:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.