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The description says, we can earn it by:

Provided non-wiki answers of 15 total score in 20 of top 40 tags

Does it mean a 15 score in each of the tags, or in cumulation?

Say 10 in and 5 in and I am done, or 15 in , 15 in and others...

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2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

It's definitely not 15 total score across all tags.

According to the List of all badges with full descriptions, it requires a cumulative answer score (all upvotes minus all downvotes) > 15 per tag in 20 of the top 40 tags:

Generalist

  • silver; awarded once
  • Earn a tag score of 15 on answers belonging to one of the top 40 tags
  • Repeat the above step until any 20 of the top 40 tags are covered

Also! Be aware that the Generalist badge requires the site to have 200 questions in each of the top 40 tags before anyone on the site can get the badge (from http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/05/generalist-badge-implemented/):

One thing the badge doesn’t say, is that there must be at least 200 questions in all 40 of the top tags before this badge is awarded to anyone. ... I don’t feel you can accurately measure a generalist until the top tag list settles down.

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1  
Nice; I was trying to find that exact post and failing –  Michael Mrozek Mar 28 '11 at 15:34
    
@Michael, it is well hidden, even Google had a hard time finding it. I might edit some FAQ posts to point more answers to it. –  NickC Mar 28 '11 at 15:36
1  
Hmm, no i actually think that link is wrong. blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/05/generalist-badge-implemented unless they changed it since. So you need 15 cumulative rep in 20 of the top 40 tags. i.e. a +10, and a +5 in C# would quailify the c# tag to count for you. –  Zypher Mar 28 '11 at 15:43
    
@Zypher: I understand "score" in this case was the same as "total upvotes minus total downvotes", similar to the tag badges. –  yhw42 Mar 28 '11 at 15:46
    
@Zypher Yes, I linked to that post too. I thought that is how it worked, but I don't think the language in the post (unless it's in the comments) really clears it up. Do you have a further reference for whether it is cumulative or not? –  NickC Mar 28 '11 at 15:48
    
@renesis in the tag description the word "answers" is plural not singular meaning more than one answer can be used to satisfy the badge not just one answer of +15 –  Zypher Mar 28 '11 at 15:51
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@Zypher - Not that I believe the language in the badge descriptions to be created to a degree that they should be analyzed at this level, but the plural could apply to multiple tags, not multiple answers within every tag. –  NickC Mar 28 '11 at 15:53
    
@Michael - Have added it to the answer at How do badges work? which is the first post Google finds about badge requirements. –  NickC Mar 28 '11 at 15:57
    
@Zypher - answer fixed, now that the list has been fixed. Thanks for bringing it up in chat. –  NickC Mar 28 '11 at 16:55

It's 15 score per tag, in any 20 of the top 40 tags. I'm not even sure the other interpretation makes sense; you could end up with 15 score in one tag, and the "20 of top 40 tags" part doesn't do anything

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