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Pinging people on chat or in comments is rather helpful. Let us leave aside the fact that strict grammar is often not necessary in such places. Rather, out of curiosity, what would be the correct way to do it?

Firstly, I thought a plain comma ought to suffice.

@Someone, help me! You are my only hope.

Then the apparent became obvious. Since the meaning of '@' is at, then the following might be more appropriate.

@Someone: We have a problem.

Or would perhaps even an em-dash work?

@Someone—puny God.

If the construct is at the middle or end of a sentence, how to proceed?

That'll do [*] @Someone [*] that'll do.

Good morning [*] @Someone!

Here '[*]' stands for an unknown punctuation mark.

It is clear that in a few cases taking '@Someone' ~ 'Someone' is the only option.

Elementary, my dear @Someone.

The other instances are, to some extent, more arguable.


Which option do you think is best?

P.S. As per 'Does other punctuation affect the notification?', punctuation generally does not interfere with the underlying process.

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    All of them are fine. Ping me. :P – Mithical Jul 31 '16 at 19:23
  • this question is better suited on meta stack exchange. personally, I use a tilde ~ – user180089 Jul 31 '16 at 20:08
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I would recommend not using any additional punctuation, and just treat it as a noun.

=> [max]: Hey @amy I'm going to the cinema with @bob and @alice.
=> [max]: Wanna come?
=> [max]: Helloooo! @amy are you there?
=> [amy]: I'm here, yeah, sure. What time?

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  • I believe this is the correct approach. The goal with these types of thing is that the @ nomenclature is meant to be meta data. Normal grammar rules apply. The @ is simply a mechanism to alert the interlocutor. So @Fawby is correct here, as are all your examples. Write it as if there is no @ at all. – Fraser Orr Jul 31 '16 at 22:07
  • A good example of this approach is twitter. – TheRealFawby Jul 31 '16 at 22:10
  • @Fraser Orr, I'm a bit confused here. No additional punctuation is necessary and '@' is simply meta data. Don't then Fawby's examples require at least a comma, e.g., 'Helloooo! @amy, are you there?'? – Linear Christmas Aug 1 '16 at 9:42

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