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When viewing questions in the normal, "Interesting Questions" tab, (or any other view for that matter), the question's score is displayed to its left, and is labeled "votes".


But is it the correct word to use? Wouldn't "Score" be more appropriate (because a score of "1" doesn't necessarily mean "1 votes", it could mean "100 upvotes and 99 downvotes").

My suggestion, use "score"


Your thoughts?

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How about vote score? –  Oded Nov 3 '12 at 13:08
@Oded: Possible, but isn't it a bit too long and would break the layout? pokit.org/get/img/352389e53dccc8d9e040a371793ce68b.png –  Madara Uchiha Nov 3 '12 at 13:08
Possibly. But there is lots of context lost if one uses score alone. Not sure that would be the best word, but I can't think of an alternative that has voting semantics attached (perhaps someone on English can help...) –  Oded Nov 3 '12 at 13:10
"Tally", maybe? (Disclaimer: I'm not on English. Yet.) –  Frédéric Hamidi Nov 3 '12 at 13:13
It is not a contest or a game. Users vote on questions, the number is the sum of the votes. –  Uphill Luge Nov 3 '12 at 13:13
@UphillLuge: But it isn't the number of votes the question has, it's the sum of it. That's why I don't think "Votes" is the appropriate word. –  Madara Uchiha Nov 3 '12 at 13:14
Let's note for posterity that this arguably related question was posted here a few minutes before this one. Maybe we actually have to be more precise and consistent with the terminology we use, at least in more competition-sensitive areas of the site. –  Frédéric Hamidi Nov 3 '12 at 13:55
Thanks, this has been bugging me since day #1 here on Stack Exchange. –  slhck Nov 3 '12 at 15:20
I agree with the concept but disagree with the terminology score. Score, in general sense, means how much point or runs or goals i have did.... e.g. In cricket, if i say i scored 200 runs, it means i made 200 runs without taking into account of others. No plus or minus. The term should be change from votes but score isn't appropriate in my opinion. –  itachi Nov 3 '12 at 16:30
@itachi: Well, the score meta tags states that score "means the total number of upvotes minus the total number of downvotes". So I'd argue it's pretty darn accurate. –  Madara Uchiha Nov 3 '12 at 16:36
@MadaraUchiha I just noticed that.... I guess there sould be a question on this regard too as well(if not already exists). –  itachi Nov 3 '12 at 16:38
@Oded any update, two years later? –  Shadow Wizard Nov 6 '14 at 13:46
Heh. This predates me working at SE... Will bring it up internally. –  Oded Nov 6 '14 at 14:05
@Oded just don't get bludgeoned with a giant "Votes" sign. –  Madara Uchiha Nov 6 '14 at 20:07

2 Answers 2

Looking at what done for this question, http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions reports 4 votes, but the question actually got 6 votes: 5 up-votes, and 1 down-vote.



4 is really the score of the question: the difference between the number of up-votes, and the number of down-votes. Votes for me means the number of votes, not the score a post has.

Score should be an understood word, on Stack Exchange, as it is already used in the description of some badges, such as Convention ("10 posts with a score of 2 on meta"), or Disciplined ("Deleted own post with score of 3 or higher"). I would not say it is a word that Stack Exchange users don't see in other places on Stack Exchange.

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That's indeed true for most SE users, but from an outsider or a beginner's point of view, wouldn't using score emphasize the gamification aspects of the system in a (possibly) undesirable way? I'm not convinced it's the right term to use here. (There's a reason why we use reputation instead of experience after all ;) –  Frédéric Hamidi Nov 3 '12 at 14:12
@FrédéricHamidi: That's true, but even the score tag's wiki refers to it as the correct word. –  Madara Uchiha Nov 3 '12 at 14:50
@FrédéricHamidi I see your point, even if the only words I can think of are synonyms of score, such as rate. –  kiamlaluno Nov 3 '12 at 14:50
@kiamlaluno, same here (I think tally might be correct but is definitely not sexy enough). When I dig further I'm tempted to fall back to terms like decision or value, that do not have much in common with the sum of votes on a post, or at least not in our context. –  Frédéric Hamidi Nov 3 '12 at 14:54

Not only would this be a more accurate term, it would also avoid the famous pluralization bug! "1 Score" is just as proper as "2 Score", but "1 Votes" just looks terrible.

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