Error while refreshing the window.

I read here that as it would not be clear who is refreshing the window, it's grammatically incorrect, but I'm not sure. Should it be

Error at refreshing the window.


Error while the window was being refresh.

or other option?

  • 2
    It's tricky to say whether your text is "grammatically correct", because it's not even a sentence - it's just a "temporally / adverbially qualified" noun phrase. But it's what everyone uses for computer-based error messages (the first "while" version), so just carry on and forget about that potential (but irrelevant) "ambiguity". Jan 16, 2020 at 18:22
  • 1
    (Note that as well as being completely non-idiomatic, your alternatives have no implications whatsoever regarding who or what is/was refreshing the window.) Jan 16, 2020 at 18:26
  • So there is no better alternative, right? Jan 16, 2020 at 19:10
  • I've no idea what the average user is supposed to make of Error refreshing window. Assuming whatever's gone wrong doesn't also prevent you from displaying the actual message, you might as well just show Error Number 12345 for all the useful information it conveys. But there's no real concept of "grammatically correct" for error messages. They're there to tell the user (or software support workers) something that will help fix the problem (and it's not obvious to me how your message would do that, however you phrase it). Jan 17, 2020 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


None of the three options you have given would be grammatically correct.

If you wanted to be 'correct' you could perhaps use: . An error occurred while the window was being refreshed.

However, as noted above, the original words are used (almost) universally with respect to computer-based error messages, so I would leave it as is.

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