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Is a plus sign necessary in a bounty label?

questions displaying a red +500, +50, etc. label

Or there is a hidden plan to offer a negative bounty?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

It's not strictly necessary, no. There is no way to award or earn a "negative" bounty, and I'm not really sure what the application of such a feature would be if it did exist.

But it's not really hurting anything, either. It provides a bit of extra clarity about what the little label means: By answering this question, you stand to gain a possible reputation boost.

I really have no idea what we would stand to gain by removing the + sign. Does it really bother you?

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They don't bother me, but the @usernames which are now being stripped didn't bother me either... – Zoredache Jul 14 '11 at 7:57
    
@Zoredache: Yes, automatically stripping @replies when the person being replied to is completely unambiguous (and thus they are superfluous) has proved to be a quite unpopular decision. I think the hope is/was that it would show people how the feature worked and that it wasn't necessary to include the @ symbol in those cases. In both cases, it seems to me, the focus is on clarity and ease of use. – Cody Gray Jul 14 '11 at 8:00

It's what tells the SO/SE newbies that there is extra rep involved. It's a one-symbol communicator.

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2  
Right, the extra is "in addition to" any other rep gained, i.e. votes or accepted answer. – Rick Sladkey Jul 14 '11 at 5:50

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