I saw this error message on my university's website, which seems weird to me. After googling, I found no other people using this error message in their apps or websites. But some of my schoolmate thought it was decent. How native does this error message seem to native English speakers?

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    It's not meaningful English. I'd guess that this is a computer-generated message that was never intended to be seen by the user.
    – KillingTime
    Commented Feb 22 at 13:12
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    Given that it seems to be the website of a university in China, I assume a mistaken use of English. Commented Feb 22 at 13:17
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    An exception is a term in computing, so the message probably makes sense to the person who programmed it, even though its meaning is very obscure to the user. It's grammatical, but not clear what service is being referred to and even less clear what exception has occurred.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 22 at 13:45
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    The term exception is likely referring to an error, and the term service is likely referring to a back-end process supporting the webpage. This non-standard phrasing is in all likelihood indicating that one of the service threw an exception, which itself is common developer speak. This isn't a description a user should ever see.
    – jimm101
    Commented Feb 22 at 13:45
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    The preposition with is odd and not idiomatic. "Exception" is a term of art. Code encountering an error condition "throws an exception" and the error-handling block "catches the exception".
    – TimR
    Commented Feb 22 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


This is meaningless.

It probably relates to "service" (perhaps a mistake for "server", for example a web server) and an "exception" (an condition that occurs in running code when something unexpected occurs such as dividing by zero, or a disk crashing)

And I speculate that some server that the web page depends on "threw an exception" and crashed. But as I said first, it is meaningless.

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    "Service" is also meaningful within computer programming, e.g. "Login service." But it's not meaningful to the end user; this is lazy (or ill-advised) design, passing along "computer-y" language as a user-facing message instead of translating it into something more useful. Commented Feb 22 at 21:42

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