0

Why are we not able to delete those questions which are downvoted by someone that we have no clue what was in their mind?

Is the first sentence grammatically correct? I think it is probably wrong to use "his". If I want to maintain "he is someone" at the beginning, then I think it can be changed to the sentence below. Is it correct?

Why are we not able to delete those questions which are downvoted by someone whose mind we have no clue about?

Do you have another way to rephrase it?

5
  • 3
    What is the relevance of “he” and “his” to the rest of your question?
    – Anton
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 7:36
  • 2
    The first sentence would definitely be better using when instead of that. That is definitely incorrect, and may well be what's causing the sentence to sound "off".
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 7:49
  • 1
    This is one for John Lawler: islands and stuff. Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 8:14
  • Yeah. It violates a Ross constraint. Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 16:25
  • Simplified: Why can't we delete questions downvoted by someone whose mind we have no clue about.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 17:26

1 Answer 1

1

If the focus is on the lack of knowledge of the mind of the downvoter:

Why are we not able to delete those questions which are downvoted by someone whose mind we have no clue about?

Or if you want to avoid the terminal preposition:

Why are we not able to delete those questions which are downvoted by someone about whose mind we have no clue?

But if the focus is on not knowing the mind of the asker,

Why are we not able to delete those questions which are downvoted, when we no clue what was in the questioner's mind?

Despite all of these options, I am surprised that the sentence would ever be needed. It is asking why we are unable to delete a question, when the rest of the sentence gives good reason for not having that ability, i.e. that we lack information.

4
  • 1
    You are confusing two completely different things. "What was in his mind when he made this rule" means something very different from "What was his mind when he made this rule." The second one is nonsense, as are your first two suggestions. Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 15:52
  • 1
    @PeterShor In this context I think it's reasonable to conflate "the mind" with "contents of the mind".
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 23:23
  • @Barmar: what was his mind is unidiomatic. See Ngrams. Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 0:30
  • 1
    @PeterShor I realize that, but the way these sentences are phrased is going to end up clumsy no matter what.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 0:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.