Fixed Personal Conversation(s) and Conversation(s) Inconsistency


Well-known member
I've reported very similar things before:
Let's see where this goes.

IIRC, conversations used to be called personal conversations, but now they aren't. However, many phrases still use personal in them and they're inconsistent with other phrases. Some phrases are even inconsistent within themselves, such as conversation_insert_email_text:

Rich (BB code):
{receiver_username}, {username} started a personal conversation with you at {board_title}


To view this conversation, click here:

To see all your active personal conversations, click here:
Performing phrase searches, I get the following results:
  • Personal Conversation: 18
  • Personal Conversations: 11
  • Conversation: 111
  • Conversations: 43
The latter two outweigh the former two.

Daniel Hood

Well-known member
In my opinion, in some places dropping the 'personal' is fine but in others (like emails/alerts) it could cause some misunderstandings.

Using the phrase 'personal' makes it more obvious that it's a private conversation. If you got the email that said
{receiver_usenrame}, {username} started a conversation with you at {board_title}
this could mean that they started a private conversation with me, or they started a discussion (thread) and mentioned me in it. Obviously being a person that uses XenForo often knows that it's a private conversation and that's not what it means but you have to keep in mind for new members "discussions" and "conversations" could really be the same thing.

Also continuing with this explanation, the second part of that email would say "to view this conversation" that's fine, because there's no possible confusion at all even if you think a thread and conversation would both be a conversation. The third part is where another misunderstanding could come in for new members. If you provide a link and say "view all conversations" then they may think this is going to link to a search page type thing where they see all their conversations and all threads that are 'theirs' (whatever that means, could be ones they started or ones they were tagged in or ones that they just posted in).

Sometimes, these subtle differences in phrases are not a bad thing. It's arguable that some things shouldn't be called the exact same thing in every single situation.


Well-known member
Yeah, I could see the email templates likely being left as is. Everything else could be adjusted, though.


Well-known member
Any kind of inconsistencies are bad. If it makes admins unsure what to use, it's even worse for users.


XenForo developer
Staff member
I think it's ok to adjust most of these actually, so I have. Most of these instances are actually in the text versions of emails -- the HTML versions already said "conversation" on its own and that's what the vast majority of people would actually see. This is slightly more consistent and less verbose. Bear in mind that you can't reply to the email, so you have to go to the forum where hopefully the thread/conversation distinction is clearer.


Well-known member
There's just one problem with this that I've discovered since I had to redo our docs in the move from vB to XF... you can't abbreviate Conversations to anything. With Private Messages or Private Conversations, it's easy enough... but if you've only got Conversations, you're stuck having to spell the whole long word out every time, or come up with Conversation Messages just to abbreviate it to CM, but then you make up unofficial terms again so you might as well use PC.

The added downside to having Conversations only is that you can't use it as a verb (whereas "PM me/him/her" or "PC me" works fine), so you have to spell out the entire "start a conversation with..." every... single... time... which gets tedious really, really, fast.

So I'd argue in favour of changing this to whatever has two words purely for practical reasons. We all know how many hundreds if not thousands of times we've written "PM me" and the like over the years. You'll regret having to write "start a conversation with me" instead every time VERY quickly.

Dropping the "Private" bit also very easily creates confusion with all the users not used to the XF terminology, as already mentioned above.

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
This probably isn't the best thread to suggest that.

This thread is specifically about an inconsistency with the existing phrases. Any further suggestions for change beyond that would be better suited to a suggestion thread where it would likely gain support from others.