I recently left a Comment below an Answer to a post (here - altho' the actual comment & post are irrelevant to the issue raised here).
The comment was intended for the author of the original Question. I did not include the name of the original questioner in my comment because I thought that the original questioner would automatically be notified of the comment. I have subsequently learnt that that is not the case, and that only the author of the Answer immediately above the comment would be auto-notified of the comment.
I am not questioning that practice, but it seems to me that the 'Help' information for a Comment is ambiguous.
The 'Help' drop-down for a Comment reads as follows:
And I did actually read that advice when choosing whether expressly to notify the original Questioner in my comment - but, clearly, I misunderstood it!
I found the statement that
"The post author will always be notified of your comment."
to be slightly ambiguous: did that refer to the author of the original Question and/or to the author of the respective Answer, under which the comment was being made?
But I felt that the next sentence:
"To also notify a previous commenter, mention their user name"
clarified that ambiguity and clearly indicated that I needed to mention a name only if my comment was intended for a previous commenter: not if it was intended for the author of the original question or the author of the respective Answer.
I now, of course, know that I was wrong! But may I suggest that the wording of the 'Help' drop-down for a Comment should be clarified.
- "post author" in obviously unclear: I assumed that "post" referred to the entire Question
- the need to "mention [a] user name" only for "a previous commenter" adds to that ambiguity.
Possible re-wording suggestions:
"The author of the Question or Answer immediately above will always be notified of your comment."
"To also notify a previous commenter or the original Questioner (when your comment is below an answer), mention their user name: ..."