by the use, or not able to use, the website

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
I wonder whether "or not able to use" is proper English. The reason for doubt is that the structure of "inflicted by the use" is "verb by noun", so the part of "not able to use" should be noun yet it is now of an adjective nature.

To make it a noun phrase I tried "(or) inability to use", which sounds that the user lacks the ability rather than is not able to use the website due to the malfunction of it. Then I tried "(or) not use", which appears to be okay but the meaning is different. So I have no idea how to improve it.

Thanks in advance

***************

Our website is not responsible for any damage inflicted by the use, or not able to use, the website.

Source: English translation (from Chinese) practice by me.

<---Chinese deleted by moderator (Copyright)--->

Note: The disclaimer appears to be used by all websites in the mainland of China.
 
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  • Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    I largely agree. It is bad English as it stands. But you could say
    We are not responsible for any damage inflicted by the use of, or your inability to use, the website.
    without necessarily implying that the user might be unable to use it because of his own shortcomings. You can also make that clearer by rewording it as:
    We are not responsible for any damage inflicted by the use or unavailability of the website.
    ("unusability" is an alternative to "unavailability".)
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    I largely agree. It is bad English as it stands. But you could say
    We are not responsible for any damage inflicted by the use of, or your inability to use, the website.
    without necessarily implying that the user might be unable to use it because of his own shortcomings. You can also make that clearer by rewording it as:
    We are not responsible for any damage inflicted by the use or unavailability of the website.
    ("unusability" is an alternative to "unavailability".)
    I like the second sentence which appears to be completely unambiguous to me.

    Thank you. :)

    I have a question about the first sentence you give: Doesn't "your inability" also imply "your own shortcomings" rather than the malfunction or shortcomings of "our website"?
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    Not necessarily. It could be read either way. Inability does not necessarily mean intrinsic incapacity or incapability. An inability to catch the train might be the result of factors outside one's control - e.g. heavy traffic or a shutdown at the station. But it is true that the expression "your inability" is slightly more likely to suggest physical incapacity than "an inability".
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Thank you. :)

    Does "incur" work there?

    ===>We are not responsible for any damage incurred by the use or unavailability of the website. (I copied Pertinax's sentence here except the word incur)

    Is it odd as well? I am not sure.
     

    cubaMania

    Senior Member
    You could use "incurred through" or "incurred as a result of", but not "incurred by". The damage would be incurred (by the user) /through/as a result of/ the use of...

    "arising from" is more commonly used in disclaimers of responsibility, I think.
     
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