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I noticed that some badges (such as Nice Answer: Answer score of 10 or more) are awarded each time the threshold is reached, but others (such as Mortarboard: Earned at least 200 reputation in a single day) are only awarded once. Is there any particular reason for the two modes, or is it merely arbitrary? (Maybe Mortarboard badges are awarded only once, because of the Epic badge? "Earned 200 daily reputation 50 times").

For consistency purposes, if the Mortarboard badge is awarded only once, perhaps its explanation should be changed to: "First time reaching 200 points in a single day," (which would mirror, say, Supporter: "First up vote").

To clarify, I'm not griping - I'm merely curious, as a trained software engineer. At first, I thought maybe I had unearthed a bug; on second thought, I think it's simply a matter of an ambiguous explanation. I realize this is a trivial and inconsequential matter, but these are the kinds of things I sometimes notice and wonder about.

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migrated from meta.english.stackexchange.com Mar 10 '12 at 12:21

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

There would be a lot of people who would get the Mortarboard badge every day. Hitting the rep cap is not exactly hard especially on SO. –  Juhana Mar 10 '12 at 12:37
@Juhana it might not be as easy on English SE which this question was originally posted on's meta... –  davidsleeps Mar 10 '12 at 13:06
@davidsleeps: It is far easier to hit the rep cap on ELU than it is on SO. If you're not a past master on SO (and answering questions tagged with C#, Java, etc.), you're lucky to get one or two upvotes for each question you answer. Hell, I got the Unsung Hero badge on SO and Legendary on ELU. I hardly ever answer questions on SO these days. –  Robusto Mar 10 '12 at 14:57
@Juhana: The number of points needed to reach the cap is irrelevant. If hitting 200 is too easy, it could be changed to 1,000 - and my question would remain the same. –  J.R. Mar 10 '12 at 17:36
You can't reach 1,000 rep per day. The rep cap is a hard limit, it's not there just for the badge. Changing the rep cap just because the badge is too easy to get would be crazy. –  Juhana Mar 10 '12 at 17:53
Whatever. I only wondered why some badges were awarded multiple times, and others weren't. Quibbling about details on individual badges doesn't help answer my question - although many of the links to the right were very helpful. –  J.R. Mar 10 '12 at 18:02
@Juhana Jon Skeet got pretty close yesterday, FWIW. –  Daniel δ Mar 10 '12 at 22:37
possible duplicate of How do "badges" work?, List of all badges with full descriptions –  Cody Gray Mar 11 '12 at 1:07
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1 Answer

I think what you are really asking is why the description of each badge doesn't make it plain whether it is a one off or multiple, as I think the creation of each badge was just to provide a reward/motivation for a particular activity/behaviour.

Most of them are pretty explanatory, and as the wording won't really change the behaviour for either well-meaning community members or rep-whores I wouldn't imagine it will need to be changed.

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Sort of. I'm a newbie to the StackExchange forums - and was puzzled after I got one badge twice, and another only once. The inconsistency intrigued me - that's all. You're correct when you say my behavior or motivation won't be affected either way. I visit to sharpen my mind; "I don't need no stinkin' badges". Had I known about this meta-meta-forum, and seen all the questions I now see in the right-hand margin, I wouldn't have even bothered to ask. Thanks - looks like this answers my question. –  J.R. Mar 10 '12 at 17:45
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