Minor grammatical error in program message

The program sometimes announces:
“The message wasn’t downloaded yet.”

I hope eM will not be offended if I mention that this announcement is not exactly good English. It is a form of construction that one often hears, especially in American usage, but it is very uncomfortable on the ear !

It should read,
“The message hasn’t been downloaded yet.”

Technically, one COULD in fact sat, “the message wasn’t downloaded yet,” but only if expressly referring to some point of time in the past. For example, this would be JUST acceptable (though even this would be a strange form of the past tense for this purpose): “When I tried to read the email this morning (i.e. in the past), the message wasn’t downloaded yet.” Even here, a better version would be, “…the message hadn’t been downloaded yet.”

In the present usage, however, the program is trying to give the user a message about the PRESENT, not the past. i.e., as of now, the message has not been downloaded yet.

I hope this makes sense; I am an engineer not an English teacher and this is particularly tricky to explain!


How about “The message has yet to be downloaded.”?

And “technically” this is more of a suggestion/idea rather than a problem/error.

I agree that this would fix it. I also agree that it isn’t an important problem and that I am making no more than a suggestion for a minor improvement. You may think, though, that if eM is to be a polished product of the highest quality, it should avoid the kind of minor grammatical shortcomings that one might find in ‘home-made’ software, even when they have no bearing on the sotware functionality and performance.


I agree that a product should have a more professional appeal after reach some time or amount of audience instead of feeling homey. But to attract more audience, there’s much more important bug fixes/improvement to be done first. It all about priority.