I'm correcting a report translated into English, and the previous version has "a" and "the" articles stuck to every noun and name. While writing a comment expressing my discontent with this misuse of articles, I couldn't find a more concise expression than "Too many articles." And then I wondered: is there a word or a common expression for this sort of thing?

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    Inarticulate? Perhaps not. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 9 '15 at 12:47
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    Of course, the previous version of the report was overarticulated (I kid, I kid). – Dan Bron Feb 9 '15 at 12:47
  • Your summary of the presentation of the report needs to say something like: "I consider that the arguments presented in the report have been excessively well-articulated". ;-) Out of curiosity, I wonder if you could edit your question so as to reproduce a typical portion of the report that displays this overuse of articles? I'm finding it rather hard to imagine what such a piece of text looks like. – Erik Kowal Feb 9 '15 at 12:56
  • @ErikKowal every chart title starts with "the", every hardware component name, every object with a distinct unique name. "A number of users", "an amount of messages", "the queries for the database of the servers of the system", etc. Seriously, we could really live without a lot of those articles. – user1306322 Feb 9 '15 at 13:16
  • @EdwinAshworth Or possibly overdetermined? Probably not. – StoneyB Feb 9 '15 at 15:17

This question has generated a lot of wordplay, which might mean nothing to your translator. ("articulate" and "articulated", as you may know, have distinct meanings in English that have little if anything to do with "articles" as we are speaking of.)

I suggest that if your translator knows what an "article" is, tell him he used "too many articles". If not, say "you used too many "a"s, "an"s and "the"s.

He might reply that that's how the text was in the original language. If so, tell him that it seems stilted and verbose in English, and that he should learn to rephrase, using (for example) the possessive, to cut down on (for example) instances of "of the. . . of the"

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