Until very recently, my display name was JS Bangs. Experimentation in chat and in comment responses confirmed that there was no way to mark responses as directed to that name. Specifically, none of the following were recognized as responses to me:

@JS Bangs

(Now @JSBangs works, but that's because I changed it to work around this bug.)

2 Answers 2


This was fixed during the day. It was implemented incorrectly (by me). It is now consistent with SO, so "@JSBangs" works.

For info, it did (in the broken version) allow dash-substitution, but only after the 3rd character.


Note: This answer is in regards to comments, please ignore it.

This is not a bug technically. It is [by-design].


There are some rules, of course:

  1. This only works when referring to other people who have already commented. 2. Your comment must include @username that you are referring to, where “username” is a reasonable match to the user’s current display name (as seen in the comments above yours). 3. There must be a starts-with, case insensitive match of at least THREE characters to the displayname. So @a and @ab will never match anyone or anything. 4. Spaces are ignored in the match, so if the person’s display name is “Peter Smith” then just use @peter to match, or @petersmith. 5. Matching is performed in reverse chronological order, so if there are five people named “John” in the comments, writing “hey @john, have you considered apples?” will match the most recent John to comment. 6. Only one person can be replied to at a time in a comment. The first one in the string wins. 7. Users who have no display name set, whose faux-displayname is derived from their OpenID URL, cannot be matched.

Have a look at the rules I bolded.

So, to match your old name, "jsbangs" would have worked.

  • 2
    Except in the chat, it doesn't match like that. With both Jon Seigel and Jon B in the chat, we wanted to try and hit a specific one but @JonB did not trigger Jon B.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jul 16, 2010 at 17:42
  • @Grace, my bad I thought this was talking about comments.
    – jjnguy
    Jul 16, 2010 at 17:47
  • 2
    The answer isn't totally wrong, though -- that's what we will be going for, probably. Makes sense to have this consistent between chat and parent site.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jul 16, 2010 at 17:56
  • 2
    @Grace Note: Marc supposedly fixed that earlier today. He mentioned my name as @AndyE and I got the beep, as well as it showing up in blue highlight. He even specifically said he'd changed the JS.
    – Andy E
    Jul 16, 2010 at 18:48

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