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Re: generalist badge. When it says "score" is that referring to the rep points earned within that tag... or the total number of votes earned within that tag.

My guess is votes.

And if so... is this always the case when using the term score? In other words. Is score a synonym of votes?

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See the community-maintained, detailed list of all badges and this answer to a similar question which a dev said was correct. (Quick answer: it means votes earned in this case, but "score" is a context-dependent term.) – Pops Jul 8 '11 at 20:27
@Popular Where exactly is score used by the engine in a different sense? The only real variance in the current system comes from how a user's score in a tag does not include Community Wiki, while even Community Wiki posts have a score, but even then score still maintains its definition of upvotes minus downvotes. Old systems (like old tag stats or tag wiki requirements) had nuances here and there about which posts qualified, but the root definition was always the same. – Grace Note Jul 8 '11 at 20:50
@Grace, I wasn't talking about the engine. People say "score" to refer to all sorts of things, from net vote counts to upvote counts to number of times a post has been favorited to user rep. – Pops Jul 8 '11 at 20:58
@Popular This isn't a question about what people say, though, so bringing that up seems to distract from the point. That's why I think calling it "context dependent" is a misnomer - it's like saying "reputation" is context dependent because people can (and do) use it for its traditional textbook definition in addition to its function within the system. – Grace Note Jul 8 '11 at 20:59
Thanks again... and yes. My real question was when reading SO docs and see the word score - it means sum of Positive and Negative "votes". – RThomas Jul 8 '11 at 21:28
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Score refers to the sum of your vote scores on posts, which is the upvotes minus the downvotes. That is, suppose you have 3 answers to questions under a specific tag in one day. The vote distributions are: 12/0, 8/-2, 16/-4. Then, your stats for that day's activity in that tag is:

  • Reputation: 200 (cap'd!)
  • Votes: 42 (12 + 0 + 8 + 2 + 16 + 4)
  • Upvotes: 36 (12 + 8 + 16)
  • Score: 30 (12 + 0 + 8 - 2 + 16 - 4)

This is always the case whenever the system uses score. Users might refer to "reputation score" or "reputation points", but in the system, score will always be specifying the value of your vote score across posts. That makes it not synonymous with votes or reputation, but rather a measure of the net votes you've earned.

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Very thorough -> thank you. Will accept in T-6 minutes. :) – RThomas Jul 8 '11 at 20:32

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