I've read the post How do comment @replies work?, but I am not sure I understood how to refer correctly to a user, for example, Sha Wiz Dow Ard. If I got it right, I have to write @ShaWizDowArd because spaces must be ignored.

Does it mean that there are no users called "ShaWizDowArd", "ShaWiz DowAr", because they wouldn't be unique usernames?

Talking about name + surname, does it mean that if there's a user called "John Smith" I can't register as "JohnSmith" or "John-Smith"?

How can I be sure my @referral is correctly written and interpreted? Is there a way to know if I referred to the right person? Why don't you write a link in "href style" to the user I'm referring to?

  • 5
    There is nothing to prevent duplicate usernames. Whitespace does not matter.
    – Bart
    Jul 27, 2013 at 10:13
  • 1
    Reply comments are limited to people already part of the conversation: others that have replied. Dupes are extremely rare; how many posts have both 'ShaWizDowArd' and 'ShaWiz DowArd' participating? Jul 27, 2013 at 10:19
  • There's a pop-up that automatically suggests the names of users you can reply to. Does this not work for you? Why are you trying to over-complicate things? Jul 27, 2013 at 10:19
  • Also related: How to reply to one user among two having same names? (not sure if a duplicate, since I don't understand what your title has to do with the question) Jul 27, 2013 at 10:27
  • 1
    There's nothing preventing you changing your name to "Sha Wiz Dow Ard." Duplicate usernames don't matter.
    – Doorknob
    Jul 27, 2013 at 10:31
  • omg I just realised, the name is ShaWizDowArd, I always thought it was ShaDowWizArd.. always an adventure on Meta!!
    – user310756
    Jul 27, 2013 at 11:19
  • @CodyGray: I'm not trying to complicate things: the pop-up wasn't working for me or, most probably, I didn't notice it. Now I see it, thanks. Jul 30, 2013 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


Comment replies are meant to notify the user you reply to.

To limit this being used for spamming everyone, comment replies only work for a limited set of people; only those that already are part of the conversation (users that have replied, the author, editors to the post) can be replied to in this manner.

This means that the chances for any conflicts between a user named "ShaWiz DowArd" being pinged instead of "Sha Wiz Dow Ard" are close to nill.

There is no point in hyperlinking those users; their accounts are already hyperlinked in their own comments.

The comment text box otherwise autocompletes names for you; it'll only autocomplete names that can be pinged.


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