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I am counting the number of questions about Drupal asked on Stack Overflow, and for my convenience I consider a question about Drupal if it contains one of the following tags:

I don't consider, for example, questions tagged drupal-views without one of the previous tags; also, I don't consider the questions tagged, for example, drupal-7 and drupal-8 but not drupal.

I give the number of questions using:

  • drupal
  • drupal-5 but not drupal (since the questions using drupal and drupal-5 are already counted in the first group)
  • drupal-6 but not drupal
  • drupal-7 but not drupal
  • drupal-8 but not drupal

I wrote the following sentence, but it seems too verbose.

To make a comparison, the questions tagged drupal (and not using drupal-5, drupal-6, drupal-7, drupal-8) on Stack Overflow are 7,474; to those, you need to add 2 questions tagged drupal-8 but not drupal, 2,062 questions tagged drupal-7 but not drupal, 1,116 questions tagged drupal-6 but not drupal, and 4 questions tagged drupal-5 but not drupal.

I could use "the questions tagged drupal," but that would not mean "questions about Drupal"; I could not say the questions tagged only with drupal" since those questions use also other tags, for example drupal-views. If I say "2,062 questions tagged drupal-7" it could not be clear if the questions are also tagged with drupal.

Is there a way to rephrase it using less words, and avoiding any ambiguity? For example, would the following sentence be without ambiguities?

To make a comparison, the questions tagged drupal on Stack Overflow are 7,474; to those, you need to add 2 questions tagged drupal-8, 2,062 questions tagged drupal-7, 1,116 questions tagged drupal-6, and 4 questions tagged drupal-5.

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    This is why tables were invented! – StoneyB Jul 14 '13 at 23:14
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    Closevoters please clarify the reason for voting. I don't think "unclear" or "opinion-based" apply here. This is a proofreading question where a specific area of concern (repeated words) has been identified, so it seems to fit within existing question guidelines. (Just because we haven't been able to come up with a good answer (including my own) as of yet doesn't disqualify the question). So, any closevoters want to chime in? – WendiKidd Jul 15 '13 at 22:59
  • @WendiKidd: As previously noted, I closevoted as POB because I was influenced by StoneyB's comment and your answer. Thus it originally seemed to me the only useful response was "this information would be better expressed in tabular form". I no longer endorse that position, because I now see it as asking "how would you express this information succinctly in speech?". – FumbleFingers Jul 16 '13 at 0:24
  • @FumbleFingers But OP says "I wrote the sentence, but it seems too verbose." – StoneyB Jul 24 '13 at 22:31
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    @StoneyB: Well, what I meant was in words, but not relying on text formatting. I still think all possible answers would be to some extent POB, but assuming we discount those where visual layout is crucial, I stand by my reopen vote on the grounds that the easiest way for OP to reduce the verbiage is to introduce the word respectively. – FumbleFingers Jul 24 '13 at 22:47
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There are 7,474 questions tagged drupal, plus version-specific questions tagged drupal-5, -6, -7, and -8 (but not drupal) with totals of 4, 1,116, 2062, and 2 respectively.


OP's text doesn't specify whether any questions are tagged with more than one value of drupal-n (but without the generic drupal tag). If there are any, it's unspecified whether/how they're counted.

  • To me, "tagged only with drupal-5, -6, -7, and -8" carries the meaning of "is tagged with drupal-5, drupal-6, drupal-7, and drupal-8, but has no other tags beyond these*. I think this is a tricky one (as is evidenced by our discussion that my answer isn't 100% spot-on, either!). I think it's hard to come up with a concise way to convey this much information in one sentence. – WendiKidd Jul 15 '13 at 14:33
  • @WendiKidd: So far as I can see, OP hasn't specified whether any questions might be tagged, say, drupal-5 and drupal-6 (but not tagged drupal). If there are any like that the question text implies nothing about whether they would be "double-counted", or excluded completely from the counts as given. – FumbleFingers Jul 15 '13 at 16:11
  • I would remove only from "tagged only with," since that could be understood as "those questions are not using other Drupal-related tags." For the rest, the sentence avoids repeating the same phrase, which is what I wanted. This answers my question. There is an ambiguity that cannot be resolved, but that is intrinsic in the data I collected: I cannot exclude that between those questions there are some that use drupal-6 and drupal-7, for example, even if there are very few questions using two or more drupal-N tags. – kiamlaluno Jul 23 '13 at 19:21
  • I am not expecting a question using drupal-5, drupal-6, and drupal-7 since that would actually mean all the official releases of Drupal (past and present). At that point, the question should be simply tagged drupal. – kiamlaluno Jul 23 '13 at 19:23
  • @kiamlaluno: Okay - I see the original question text has been changed, so I've edited to reflect that. I still think the only important thing about the answer is that you can express this information more succinctly using the word respectively. And I still think the treatment of certain tag combinations is unspecified, as indicated in my revised text. – FumbleFingers Jul 23 '13 at 19:56
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Perhaps this isn't exactly what you're looking for, but I think the simplest and clearest way to get your point across would be to use a list.

To make a comparison, see these questions:

If you're willing to simplify it quite a lot and lose some of the information you added, you might be able to use a shorter sentence like this one:

To make a comparison, the questions tagged drupal (but not drupal-x) on Stack Overflow are 7,474, while the total number of questions tagged drupal-x (but not drupal) are 3,184.

[As a side note, I don't know what argument you're making, but you leave out mention of questions which are tagged both drupal and drupal-x; is this intentional?]

  • +1 Excellent layout. But I suspect what OP means is "By way of comparison there are: • 7,474 questions tagged drupal but not drupal-5, -6 ...) and • 2 tagged drupal-x but not drupal, including ∘ 2 tagged drupal-8 ∘ 2,062 tagged drupal-7, etc. – StoneyB Jul 14 '13 at 23:12
  • Two questions are tagged drupal-8, but not drupal. I am counting all the questions that are about Drupal. – kiamlaluno Jul 15 '13 at 2:27
  • I'm not even sure the (brackets) in my answer really count as "English". I certainly don't think a table does. – FumbleFingers Jul 15 '13 at 3:53
  • @FumbleFingers Maybe not; I did preface my answer that it might not have been exactly what OP was looking for. But I decided to take the position that if I could help OP express his meaning, that could be useful, even if it's not strictly in sentence-form. Tbh I think it's a lot of information to cram into one sentence and that's part of the problem. If someone can figure out another way to write all of this in a coherent sentence I'll gladly upvote the answer :) – WendiKidd Jul 15 '13 at 14:31
  • @ WendiKidd: So I guess the lack of any votes for my answer means you don't think it qualifies as a "coherent sentence"! :( To be honest, I think the question itself is rather pointless. The only connection to English I can see is that to convey the information in words with at least some level of "digestibility", you need to somehow combine repeated elements. But given the uncertainty over how questions with more than one "version-specific" tag might affect things, I think the whole concept is something of a no-hoper. – FumbleFingers Jul 15 '13 at 16:06

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