After changing my user name to D B Lim, it seems whenever someone does @D or @D B Lim, I don't get a notification. Is this some kind of glitch? Should I change my username to one that is just one word?


  • 3
    $\begingroup$ To help with the diagnostics: did Srivatsan's comment here reach you or not? Note that @D definitely doesn't work, as three characters from the username are at least required. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2011 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M. No it did not work. $\endgroup$
    – user5783
    Sep 5, 2011 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ @DB: There's an exception if there are spaces in your user name. I just tested that one can notify you with @DB, although this has only 2 characters. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2011 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


You need to remove the spaces to get the notification working if the first part of your username is only one letter, so @dbl or @dblim should work.

See How do comment @replies work? for much more details about the comment notifications.

  • $\begingroup$ Personally, I find it quite confusing when I find names that had spaces or dots in between. This post seems very useful. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Srivatsan
    Sep 5, 2011 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ It is interesting to note that @DB (or @db) also works. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2011 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Srivatsan: You may want to have a look at this userscript or that one $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Sep 5, 2011 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Theo Wow, that should be really useful. Thanks! (A separate thanks for pointing me to stackapps. I hadn't known about this...) $\endgroup$
    – Srivatsan
    Sep 5, 2011 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Hen Do those two-char names work per doc or per actual confirmed use? $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2011 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Bill: Well, you know what "documentation" means here - most of it is written by the community itself, after actual confirmed use. However, in this case it's documented in an answer by a developer, namely balpha. (That @DB will work is not really documented there; this I tested myself.) $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2011 at 7:46

Click the "help" link underneath the Add Comment button:

The post author will always be notified of your comment. To also notify a previous commenter, mention their user name: @peter or @PeterSmith will both work. Learn more…

The implication is that the user's name is "Peter Smith" so the lack of space is indicated there.

Additionally the Learn More link to https://math.meta.stackexchange.com/editing-help#comment-formatting is HIGHLY recommended.

  • $\begingroup$ I find it quite strange that the software does not somehow warn you when you type in an invalid at-name. Can't you simply highlight invalid at-names somehow? i.e. names which will not be pinged. I suppose my prior suggestion was too much work (i.e. also highlighting valid at-names and their targeted comment in matching colors - to achieve WYSIWYG adressing). $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2011 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque Your post here has not given me any notifications. Aren't I supposed to get one? $\endgroup$
    – user5783
    Sep 6, 2011 at 2:10
  • $\begingroup$ @DBL Iirc only the author of the parent of the comment thread is defaultly notified (here Jeff). I don't know if it works to ping the questioner in a comment thread they are not in. Jeff? But I think this DBL ping should work. Did it? $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2011 at 2:14
  • $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque How come (at)DBL gives me a notification? $\endgroup$
    – user5783
    Sep 6, 2011 at 2:51
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    $\begingroup$ @DBL See Fabian's answer. $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2011 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ @DB, I can confirm what Bill wrote: if no @ syntax is used, then you'll only be notified of comments to your posts, and this is Jeff's post. Thus, I used @DB to notify you of this comment, and it only works because you already participated in the comments here. Bill in his first comment had no way of notifying you. $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2011 at 11:07

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