On a website, which is the correct error message when a user does not provide their username, their password, or both:

No username or password provided.


No username or no password provided.


No username and/or no password provided.

  • 2
    Yes, they mean the same: if people can understand, quickly and unambiguously, what you intend to say, it is acceptable and commit to omit "superfluous" words (try searching this site for "conversational deletion", "omission", "elision" etc). That said, in Ye Olde Days, the ambiguity would have been resolved by using nor instead of or, but no longer. Ah, ah, those halcyon days of nor.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 8, 2016 at 13:35
  • I meant "... and common", not "and commit". At this point, it might be worthwhile for me to hack into SE's servers to give myself the "unlimited comment-editing" privilege.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 8, 2016 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


No, at least not at first glance. The first: "No username or password provided." will usually be read as meaning neither a username nor a password was provided, i.e. both fields are empty.

The second: "No username or no password provided." means that one of the two is missing, but not necessarily both.

The third: "No username and/or no password provided." is not a way you'd typically see the situation phrased, and is sort of a combination of the two, covering both the case where one and neither are entered.

  • 1
    I agree, I'll definitely read "No username or password provided." as neither...nor.
    – Azami
    Jun 8, 2016 at 13:45

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