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What is the relevance of “ @ “ in comments?

I often see @user here and there in the comments.

What, pray tell, does it mean and what is it used for?

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marked as duplicate by random, jjnguy, Ralph Rickenbach, BinaryMisfit Oct 14 '09 at 9:55

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Like the previous question? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/25725 – retracile Oct 13 '09 at 21:11
    
Oh, I missed that question. Now I feel slightly silly for answering this one... – Stephan202 Oct 13 '09 at 21:12
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Do you mean @username: ... as used in comments? That is just to signal who the comment is for, especially if this is not the original poster.

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@Stephan202 COOL!!! – Luiscencio Oct 13 '09 at 21:11
    
@Luis: VERY!!!! – Stephan202 Oct 13 '09 at 21:13
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But, of course, it is broken, because users can freely change their display name...not that I let that stop me from using it. – dmckee Oct 13 '09 at 21:38
4  
You need it because comments move up as they are voted so it's not obvious that you are replying to the immediately preceding poster – Martin Beckett Oct 14 '09 at 4:05

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