Slightly related: Users Search box doesn't find names with an apostrophe '

If a user has an apostrophe in their username, while typing out an @reply, the system suggests a username without the apostrophe. Which is fine, but in both cases, the user does not get notified

I know that @replies with apostrophe's can be confusing for the system, as we use possessive with usernames as well (eg "@JonSkeet's answer"), but then the user should get notified if they got pinged with their username-sans-apostrophe.

Update: I think I've realized what's going on. Apostrophes are normally stripped out of chat pings, which still makes the chat ping work. Eg @Oreilly will still ping O'reilly. The issue is, this particular user has a two-character username when the apostrophe is removed. As we all know, @replies need to have three characters to work.

I bet this issue is there with any other usernames that are three-character-- but have a special character in them. (Like https://chat.stackexchange.com/users/70)

Could the system allow two-char and one-char pings for these people? Or consider the apostrophe/special character in these pings?

Edit from F'x (above-mentioned user): I don't get notified of chat messages which @mention me, whether with or without the apostrophe. I get notified by replies (which don't use the username mechanism, but a message ID) and superping (which use user ID, if I understand correctly).

List of all cases

I'm stealing F'x's username to use as an example here, for a breakup of all the cases.

  • @Fx in comments: not tested
  • @F'x in comments: works
  • In comments, the suggestion states: F'x
  • @Fx in chat: Does not work
  • @F'x in chat: does not get notified
  • Superpinging works
  • Chat message id replies (:131313) works
  • In chat, the suggestion states: Fx
  • @userid in chat: not tested, dunno if it even exists.

Basically comments are hunkydory, chat is rather buggy.

  • 1
    I don't understand how that line implies that they didn't get notified of the at-mention...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 6:23
  • @animuson "You really need to reply to a message of mine if you want me to read it" Either he doesn't like atreplies, or they don't ping him. I'd say it's the latter, since the system screwed up the suggested atreply as well. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 6:27
  • 2
    Him saying "I'm a diva" at the end makes me think he just doesn't care for mentions that aren't linked to a previous chat message.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 6:31
  • @animuson I sort of assumed that to be a joke.. Anyways, he only had one previous chat message in the past few days, so linking it makes little sense. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 6:33
  • @animuson you can assume what you want, the fact is: if usernames with an apostrophe are supported, then having them not work correctly in chat is a bug. The “diva” part was to mean that I could get a different username, but I kinda don't want to change…
    – F'x
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 7:17
  • @F'x Speak of the apostrophe and the apostrophe doth appear :P Great you chimed in, speculating on what you meant wasn't making much progress :/ Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 7:23
  • @F'x: Just so we're all clear, comment @replies (like this one) work just fine with the apostrophe in your user name, the bug is only in chat? Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 7:46
  • @Cody sounds like the auto complete in chat removes the single quote character - here in comments it doesn't remove. Manishearth am I right? Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 8:06
  • @F'x can you please join chat.meta.stackoverflow.com/rooms/484/… so I can see if I'm right? :) Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 8:13
  • @ShaDowWizArd yep, you're right.. In comments, the apostrophe is retained. I'm not sure if F'x gets notified of comment atreplies, though.. I've only interacted with him on his posts.. In chat, the suggestion strips off the apostrophe, and neither atreply version (with or w/o apostrophe) works. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 8:32
  • @ShaDowWizArd it's not about the autocompletion: however you type it, I won't get notified
    – F'x
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 9:45
  • @F'x does comment notification work? Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 9:46
  • @Manishearth yes, it does; all works fine on the sites, it's only a chat thing
    – F'x
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 9:48
  • 1
    @BenBrocka: That's what I said in my update. @wont works, but @fx doesn't--two characters only. Commented May 20, 2012 at 2:00
  • 2
    Fixing this is definitely planned (and in fact already started), by making the behavior consistent with how it happens with comments on the Q&A sites.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


This should be fixed now. The logic of matching a @reply to a username should now be near-identical to the way it works in comments.

Since this means the tab autocompleter was also updated, I have sent a system message to all clients asking the users to refresh their chat pages (Example: C. Ross would previously have to have been mentioned with @CRoss, which is what the old autocompleter suggested; now it's @C.Ross).

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