Minorest pony request! Natural-language new-comments cue August 10, 2018 11:22 AM   Subscribe

It must be the old UX instincts acting up in me, but I'm finally moved to ask about a feature of the beloved site which has been irking me for quite some time: the clipped engineerese in which the notice "7 new comments — show" is expressed.

It is, admittedly, the most minor of pet peeves, but there's no reason for the abruptness and clunkiness of that dangling imperative "show."

Would it be as easy as I suspect to change that notification to the more natural "Show 7 new comments"? Would this be something you, cortex & co., would be willing to invest the time and energy in? Or is this just not an irritant for most of us?
posted by adamgreenfield to Feature Requests at 11:22 AM (74 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I sort of love this idea even though I know it is also the pickiest of nits.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:02 PM on August 10 [8 favorites]


I hadn't registered this as a problem, but "show 7 new comments" is a much more graceful label.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:12 PM on August 10


“7 new comments - show” makes it more explicit that there are only 7 new comments. “Show 7 new comments” is a little unclear. What about, “Show the 7 new comments” or “Show new comments (currently 7)”?

Or not, but might as well nitpick every bit that can potentially be picked while we’re here.
posted by michaelh at 12:55 PM on August 10 [11 favorites]


Oh adamgreenfield, I am already married to a lady but if I weren't I'd be on one knee proposing to you now, such is the way my language-perfecting heart is warmed by this request.
posted by donnagirl at 1:08 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


How about:

7 new comments — Show them to me! I command you!
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:09 PM on August 10 [29 favorites]


Show me 7 new comments.
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
posted by arcticseal at 1:47 PM on August 10 [6 favorites]


"Please show the new comments."
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:55 PM on August 10 [5 favorites]


The clipped engineerese expresses the [ Condition - Available Action ] situation precisely and I like it that way. It reminds me of login windows where the password field has a "Show" at the right of the field, where it would not occur to me to suggest inverting the order.
posted by channaher at 2:09 PM on August 10 [11 favorites]


7 additional lately arrived comments are available for your consideration. Shall I show them, master?
posted by sfenders at 3:21 PM on August 10 [5 favorites]


"There seem to be about seven new comments in this thread. There may be more; there may be fewer. It is indeed possible that some of the aforementioned seven comments have been deleted as derails, offensive or otherwise against the rules. It is also possible that there are new comments as you are reading this message. Would you like the Metafilter server to display these comments, however many in number they are? Please choose a selection from the following by clicking on them with your mouse or highlighting by pressing tab and pressing enter on your keyboard: [Yes] [Maybe] [Sometimes] [No] [What is your problem?].
posted by General Malaise at 3:37 PM on August 10 [32 favorites]


"Reveal that which is Hidden, of which there are Seven" also animated baby spiders crawl out of the link text when you click it
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:41 PM on August 10 [32 favorites]




So...no, then?
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:05 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


📎 “Hi! Did you know there are 7 new comments? Would you like to see them now?”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:26 PM on August 10 [19 favorites]


There. Are. FOUR. Comments!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:18 PM on August 10 [14 favorites]


also animated baby spiders crawl out of the link text when you click it

They're called spiderlings. Sheesh
posted by aubilenon at 7:56 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


michaelh: "“Show the 7 new comments” or “Show new comments (currently 7)”?"

"Show new comments (7)"?
posted by capricorn at 9:09 PM on August 10 [7 favorites]


"Show new comments (7)"?
gets my vote. We’re voting, right? This is a democracy?
posted by greermahoney at 10:14 PM on August 10 [3 favorites]


As long as we're nitpicking, my display shows "7 new comments, show", not "7 new comments - show". The imperative dangles because of the comma. Using a dash, a period and/or capitalizing "show" would fix that.
posted by klarck at 10:42 PM on August 10 [3 favorites]


It has never, ever, ever been accurate, so maybe it doesn’t need to be there at all?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:08 PM on August 10


Surprise me!
posted by arcticseal at 11:41 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


"Show 7 new comments" carries the implication that there may well be MORE than seven new comments, but that the metafilter pixies are arbitrarily choosing that you may only have access to seven of them at this time.
posted by quacks like a duck at 11:43 PM on August 10 [13 favorites]


I always thought it was old high middle something best left alone.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:27 AM on August 11


"Bring me 7 splendidly new comments, a marvellous pot of tea and a sticky bun forthwith, MetaJeeves."

(MetaFilter: the pickiest of nits)
posted by Wordshore at 1:40 AM on August 11 [4 favorites]


I vote for "Show 7(-ish?) new comments"
posted by russm at 4:57 AM on August 11


7 new comments. Fake news? Click here to find out.

We need to make it more click bait-y
posted by AugustWest at 5:07 AM on August 11 [2 favorites]


To me present/ 1 new comment
Bring into view/ new comments 2
Show to me/ new comments 3
Open the door/ to new comments 4
Bring alive/ new comments 5

...

Reveal, though late, new comments 48
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:22 AM on August 11 [10 favorites]


"Please show all X new comment(s)."
posted by terrapin at 6:59 AM on August 11


"VII dictis ostendere novum"
posted by Pendragon at 8:17 AM on August 11 [5 favorites]


"Show me the four new comments, HAL"
posted by Frayed Knot at 8:32 AM on August 11


I’m afraid not, Frayed Knot.
posted by Night_owl at 8:56 AM on August 11 [9 favorites]


"You are standing beside a post. To the north there is a vast open thread. To the south there is a new comment."
posted by oulipian at 9:07 AM on August 11 [20 favorites]


OMG have you seen these new comments? I can't believe your most favoritest fellow MeFite said that! Oh, you haven't seen them? Well you're really missing out. I don't want to snark too much but you'll probably just hear everyone else talking about them while you're left bewildered and out of touch. The people who made these comments are obviously highly erudite and attractive individuals. If you made an AskMe about it the advice would definitely be to click here and see the new comments.
posted by XMLicious at 10:57 AM on August 11 [2 favorites]


There're 7 new comments; but you know what, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, they can wait a while.
posted by arcticseal at 11:41 AM on August 11 [4 favorites]


7 startling comments cortex doesn’t want you to know about. Click here to find out why.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:16 PM on August 11 [24 favorites]


This is why browsers should allow the blink tag.

-7- NEW COMMENTS -7-
SHOW 'EM

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:22 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]


Maybe we don't need "Show" at all, just link # new comments and show them when it's clicked.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:53 PM on August 11 [16 favorites]


Ooh, that's it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:02 PM on August 11


Maybe we don't need "Show" at all, just link # new comments and show them when it's clicked.

Yes, this please.
posted by lazuli at 3:24 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


If we're really going to UX the plate of beans then I'd argue the user doesn't need to know the # given that they're going to click it regardless and it's possible that the # isn't accurate.
posted by bleep at 4:15 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]


1234 new comments. Kill your old phone?
posted by hat_eater at 5:29 PM on August 11 [4 favorites]


If we're really going to UX the plate of beans then I'd argue the user doesn't need to know the # given that they're going to click it regardless and it's possible that the # isn't accurate.

That depends on how much they’re off. I haven’t noticed them being off a great amount. And sometimes I’m all for catching up on2 comments, but would nope out of 200. I like the rough estimate.
posted by greermahoney at 5:32 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]


"Sending thoughts and 7 new comments."
posted by Wordshore at 5:33 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]


I like the rough estimate.

Then, obligatorily:
Few 1-4
Several 5-9
Pack 10-19
Lots 20-49
Horde 50-99
Throng 100-249
Swarm 250-499
Zounds 500-999
Legion 1000+
posted by hat_eater at 5:33 PM on August 11 [9 favorites]


I would be ok with that.
posted by greermahoney at 5:43 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


Perhaps a number of spider emojis (🕷) on a logarithmic scale, like Richter magnitude for earthquakes.
posted by XMLicious at 5:52 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]


MY 7 NEW COMMENTS
LET ME SHOW YOU THEM
posted by Daily Alice at 6:01 PM on August 11 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: animated baby spiders crawl out of the link text when you click it
posted by killdevil at 7:46 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


7 WEIRD COMMENTS THE MODS DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE
posted by telepanda at 8:01 PM on August 11 [5 favorites]


If more arrive, if more arrive, if more arrive,
Add their voice to the mix, add their voice to the mix, add their voice to the mix,
With their voice in the mix, SHOW COMMENTS SEVEN, SHOW COMMENTS SEVEN!
This MeFite's gone to Heaven!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:11 PM on August 11 [3 favorites]


This is not, apparently, a problem for those of us impatient types who live for the refresh button. I might have seen that message once or twice in the last fifteen years, but none of them particularly stand out.
posted by yhbc at 9:15 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


Refresh, gah! I could totally have gone for "If F is 5" if I'd stopped and thought about it.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:22 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


Good job spoiling next years April Fools thingy.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:34 PM on August 11 [5 favorites]


This is not, apparently, a problem for those of us impatient types who live for the refresh button. I might have seen that message once or twice in the last fifteen years, but none of them particularly stand out.

Oh to go back to the days before the megathreads, woe unto me.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:34 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: we have comments.
posted by arcticseal at 1:20 AM on August 12 [3 favorites]


7 people have invalidated the comment you are typing, don't click tbh
posted by fleacircus at 7:30 AM on August 12 [6 favorites]


"There's been 7 new comments since you last obsessively refreshed this thread. Including one that is really going to get your blood boiling."
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:10 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]


Ingredients: 7 comments, as new as possible.
Method: Load gently.
posted by lucidium at 8:27 AM on August 12 [2 favorites]


While we're at it 'This post has been Deleted' should be renamed 'Metafilter is too sexy for this post to sexy for this post someone hated it the most!'
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:58 AM on August 12 [4 favorites]


Fixed it, using the online service Ian Bogost has created.
posted by Wordshore at 4:02 PM on August 12


7 new comments [ show ].
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:38 PM on August 12 [1 favorite]


The big UI / UX fuxor for me is on the mega threads - I know that the homepage (which is now page 2 or 3 or 4) will have the "XXX new messages" link.

But the sidebar does not.

So I'm stuck: do I scroll down through old threads until I find the golden nugget "XX new" ?

No, I click the sidebar, then click the (something which looks downward.svg icon and go to the bottom, then scroll up, trying vainly to remember the last pithy comment)

My request: put the "### new comments" link ON THE SIDEBAR.
posted by soylent00FF00 at 6:58 PM on August 12


Show me the damage
posted by nikaspark at 5:49 AM on August 13 [2 favorites]


For those of us who have some trouble parsing things, it's really nice that the number of new comments is first. I can glance and see how many new comments there are instead of having to hunt for it in a sentence. It's nice for usability. And yeah, in those mega threads where it's eleventybillion new comments, I can just nope out instead of killing my phone/the server.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:46 PM on August 13 [2 favorites]


"show 7 new comments" is tough on me legibility wise. I like knowing the number first, so I like the current format fine. If we want to go for even more streamlinedness, I suggest "7 new comments" without the word showing, you can just click on it, but that won't be intuitive to users who need more direction.
posted by yueliang at 4:36 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


It's a link. Any confusion would be dispelled after clicking it once (there won't be any confusion). It's succinct. Omit needless words. There is no Cabal.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:01 PM on August 14


Shall I show you
the comments
that are in
the thread

and which
you were probably
saving
for coffebreak?

Allow me:
there are 7
so witty
and so new
posted by bonehead at 8:15 AM on August 16 [8 favorites]


Perhaps just adding a question mark would make it clear that the last word is a question/option rather than a declaration:

7 new comments, show
7 new comments, show?
posted by Lanark at 3:10 PM on August 16


MORBO DEMANDS TO SHOW 7 NEW COMMENTS!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:11 AM on August 17 [1 favorite]


Noting for the record quickly that I am interested in this discussion but also camping in Maine and may not really carve out the time to give it a think for a whiiiiile so
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:33 AM on August 17


Are you telling us we're not
( •_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■
the Maine event?
(⌐■_■)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:16 PM on August 17 [4 favorites]


*pats bag of Humpty Dumpy potato chips sitting on picnic table next to park Vanagon*

I guess you could say I'm...All Dressed-up with nowhere to go.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:47 PM on August 17


But I bet you'll Ketchup later eh.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:25 PM on August 17


Eat 57 new product placements
posted by michaelh at 12:39 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


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