I'd like to concisely (ideally, in one word) express my opinion that the styling on the "Removed permissions" and "Added permissions" text in the picture below is not just wrong, but the exact opposite of right:


For purposes of a short subject line in a bug report, I'd like to say that "permission changes are presented wrongly", but rather than wrongly, I'd like to use for emphasis a word that has additional connotations of being inverted, swapped (though swapped is perhaps wrong, because it implies that the items were once styled the other way- but they've always been like this). I'd prefer to stay away from words like 'moronic' - I want to be polite.

(for the curious, the styling is correct from the point of a computerised diff, where green typically denotes additions and red deletions - but wrong from the point of view of user-experience and security, because the most dangerous items are styled with green, and the least dangerous with red, opposite to conventional warning design)

  • 2
    "Only 180 degrees off" is a generous way to put it.
    – Sven Yargs
    Oct 31, 2015 at 18:29
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    Incidentally, I disagree with your premise. While it does seem weird to render "removed permissions" in red and "added permissions" in green, I don't think simply swapping the colours around makes it spot on. Nov 1, 2015 at 0:03
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    The word wrong is a very strong word, and when you say something is wrong, you're basically saying it's not at all correct in any way. Most of the answers proposed, while technically correct, are not going to come across as polite. If you really want to be polite, just say the colors are "inappropriate" or "incorrect", or "don't conform to standards." It's not really possible to state that the usage is completely the opposite of correct without coming across as rude.
    – barbecue
    Nov 1, 2015 at 3:13
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    I'm not convinced that the illustration is incorrect, unclear yes, but there's not enough information here
    – Jasen
    Nov 1, 2015 at 8:04
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    In the same direction as @barbecue: "Counter-intuitive" or "misleading". After all, it's not factually wrong but rather gives in your opinion an undesired impression, which is a matter of interpretation. Nov 2, 2015 at 14:37

11 Answers 11


You could say these were antithetical to or the antithesis of the correct thing, meaning that whatever the right thing is, what you see is diametrically opposed to that:

antithesis n
2. the direct opposite (usually followed by of or to):
Her behavior was the very antithesis of cowardly.

Source: dictionary.reference.com

In your case, you might say

The styling of the permissions text is the antithesis of good UX design.



'3. in the reverse of usual order or direction1

'2. Done or arranged in a manner or order that is opposite to previous occurrence or normal use.2

The styles used for the Removed and Added permission labels are backwards.

1 Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
2 American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


"Dead wrong" seems like an appropriate modifier to "wrong" to emphasize your point.


Diametrically opposed, where diametric in particular, as per dictionary.com:


  1. of, relating to, or along a diameter. .

  2. in direct opposition; being at opposite extremes; complete: diametrical opposites; a diametrical difference.


Well there's "ass-backwards," meaning "in a manner incongruously or preposterously counter to what is customary, probable, or feasible."

There's also the even wittier variation, "back-asswards."

  • 3
    I hope you are not suggesting that these terns are appropriate for a bug report title.
    – Jim
    Oct 31, 2015 at 17:34
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    Nope, but I thought I'd mention them because the dictionary.com definition is spot on.
    – user139454
    Oct 31, 2015 at 17:35
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    Or the even more wittier version: bass-ackwards.
    – WernerCD
    Oct 31, 2015 at 23:34
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    Yeah but the OP specifically talks about a bug report so you're not really answering their question just adding noise to the discussion...they said "I want to be polite." Nov 1, 2015 at 2:45
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    Though I might see 'bass-ackwards' being somewhat acceptable in some circumstances, I strongly disagree with the original 'ass-backwards' being acceptable at all.
    – dotancohen
    Nov 1, 2015 at 12:12

For purposes of a short subject line in a bug report, I'd like to say that "permission changes are presented wrongly", but rather than wrongly, I'd like to use for emphasis a word that has additional connotations . . .

A single word: Incorrect (1)

Or there are numerous ways to describe the sense of what you want to communicate. Antithesis and polar opposite come closest in meaning to what you have requested. However, there are many ways to colorfully and helpfully communicate the sense you wish to communicate.

For instance: misleading, confusing, contrary, perverted, antithesis (or antithetical), opposite (and polar opposite)

e.g. The changes . . .:

  • are incorrect as per common practice.
  • are misleading.
  • are contrary to common practice.
  • pervert common practice.
  • are antithetical to common practice.
  • are the polar opposite of. . .

You should select one, or some, dependent on your target audience. I would not expect to see antithesis or antithetical used for most general communication. Too many people would have to look it up in a dictionary. Perversion has considerable negative connotation, but might be over the top (too strong). Choosing misleading, confusing or polar opposite should helpfully communicate the point.


"Completely wrong" is the phrase I'd probably use.


I have always been personally partial to the term 'exactly wrong'. It conveys your meaning clearly, and is no more impolite than 'wrong'. It would probably also be taken to imply that your problem report will include a correct solution, or at least be significantly more likely to include one than if you had simply said 'wrong.'


Use the word "opposites" - you could also use "polar opposites".

^ The addition of "polar" puts emphasis on "opposites", of course.


For the sense of swapped but without perhaps the connotation of a historical past where they existed before, consider using inverted.


If I were writing a report, I would use only the title

Presentation of permissions alterations

And then use the fact that I have more words in the body of the paragraph to emphasise the point that the presentiation is incorrect in terms of user interface design best practice.

A couple of examples of sentences I'd probably use in the body, though not both at the same time of course.

  1. Best practice user interface design suggests that the current method of presenting alterations to permissions changes made by users is incorrect.
  2. The current method of presenting permissions changes made by users are the inverse of best practice user interface design. The use of the colour green indicates to the user that.... etc.
  • 1
    Bug reports report a single bug. It's customary that the title is a one-line summary of the complete bug. See for example developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/QA/…
    – flup
    Nov 2, 2015 at 7:24
  • Nice to know, now what's that got to do with what I wrote?
    – Lewis
    Dec 2, 2015 at 14:42
  • "Presentation of permissions alterations" would be a great title for a report that goes on to list all the bugs present in the presentation. But not for a single bug report since it does not describe what's wrong. Similarly, a bug report for a broken door handle should not be titled "Door handle" but something like "Door handle won't budge", which summarizes the problem.
    – flup
    Dec 2, 2015 at 14:47
  • Perhaps I missed that this was a single bug report and my response is based upon that. Win some, lose some.
    – Lewis
    Dec 6, 2015 at 17:14

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