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In the question feed, each question shows data about votes, answers and views on the left hand side, e.g.

enter image description here

The answers and views make sense mathematically, and the grammar works. However, the votes have a twisted logic. In the example, the score was zero, but there were two votes (one up, one down). When there are more down than up votes, it says something like "-3 votes". I wonder how StackExchange could show more literacy and numeracy in this area. Substituting "score" for "votes" would help with the numeracy, but would still be bad grammar, I think. I don't have a suggestion how to fix it, other than writing "Score = 0", which would mess up the overall design.

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    $\begingroup$ You mean that in your example of one positive and one negative vote, two votes were cast, therefore it should be more correct to show "2 votes"? I suppose "x votes" is intended as shorthand for "net x positive minus negative votes". Maybe a few people are confused. Either way, I don't know why the tally is kept secret for newbies. Doesn't seem a big deal to show both total positive and negative vote counts. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Jun 14, 2023 at 15:54
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    $\begingroup$ Better taken up on Meta.SE? Since it's more an overall rename? $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2023 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn Here's a Meta.SE answer as to why meta.stackexchange.com/questions/69852/… $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2023 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @SafdarFaisal Meta.SE is in a funk at the moment. Also, I don't know how much people care about numeracy across the disciplines. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten Mod
    Jun 15, 2023 at 13:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Safdar Thanks, that's a helpful link. Surprised I never thought of this issue. "Score" has a bit of a competitive ring, as if this were a sport. I suppose it can be regarded as one of sorts. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Jun 16, 2023 at 5:29
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    $\begingroup$ If you go by the hover text for the up and down buttons, answers should have "usefulness", and questions could have "clarity" or "quality". $\endgroup$
    – Karsten Mod
    Jun 16, 2023 at 12:17

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This has already been acknowledged by SE Staff and is under status-review.

This Meta.SE question has already been answered by Felippe, who is a member of staff and was set as status-review on Feb 2.

Our main goal was to switch to "Score" where it made sense, which on this first pass meant:

The layout doesn't display the word "Score" as a unit. (e.g.: "15 score" as opposed to "15 votes" just seem weird to us right now) The number displayed is an actual "Score", which as described by you folks, is the combination of upvotes and downvotes

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As explained in a link to a meta SE post, provided by Safdar, the reason we do not see the full "tally" (in say the format "+/-" counts) apparently derives from the cost of transmitting additional information to users which, particularly at the inception of the site, might be a critical issue. Whether this cost is still considered sufficiently significant and what effort would be required to transmit the full tally is another question. The recent editing of the layout of the voting arrows allows one to make inferences about the priorities of SE. Personally I think it would add great value to show the full tally, even to beginners. It might help avoid some issues, for instance if someone receives +100/-103 votes and complains on meta because of "targeted negative voting" (a comment notes that there are other ways to infer the number of +/- votes - more reason not to keep this information under wraps).

Regarding the non-canonical use of the term "vote", I would brush it aside as unimportant. Language is malleable and in the tech world in particular meanings are frequently stretched. Consider that this site is a child-sibling of the original Stackoverflow, and programmers are very comfortable using old words to mean new things (not unlike chemists), e.g. "object". Consider it "syntactic sugar".

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  • $\begingroup$ If both up and down votes were shown, it could be "vote" instead of "votes", helping with the grammar. So e.g. "Vote 2|1" or "Vote 1|0" instead of "1 Votes". Other sites show both, not necessarily more consistent with math or chemistry usage. The analogy with chemical notation would be electrical charge, so "Vote 1+|0" or "Vote 2+|2-". $\endgroup$
    – Karsten Mod
    Jun 16, 2023 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ It would help avoid some issues, for instance if someone receives +100/-103 votes and complains on meta because of "targeted negative voting". This is not really an issue for the people who asks the questions because they can actually see the reputation gain/loss for the question on their tab. $\endgroup$ Jun 17, 2023 at 6:19
  • $\begingroup$ @SafdarFaisal Yes, good point. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Jun 17, 2023 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Karsten I don't see the need to distinguish between plural/singular (would think plural is adequate except when only one vote has been cast though). In general I stick to my argument in the answer: a word was picked for conciseness and it was "votes". The meaning follows from the usage, not the other way around, and the rest is history as they say. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Jun 17, 2023 at 11:17
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I think a better way to do away with this is to specify the number of upvotes and the number of downvotes separately like this $\color\green{2} |\color\red{1}$ at the appropriate place which means 2 upvotes and 1 downvote. This would let the viewer judge the quality of the post more accurately.

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    $\begingroup$ That is how it works once you get to 1000 rep. The reason for the same is talked about in a comment to the question itself $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2023 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ @SafdarFaisal I just wish it can be made accessible to everyone regardless of rep. It would be especially helpful for new users to pick up quality posts. $\endgroup$ Jun 17, 2023 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ Did you read the actual answer that was referenced. or even buck thorn's answer? It was kept behind a rep gate due to how expensive the query was when it had to be done for a user for each question and answer. Honestly, it really isn't a big change.. A post that's -1 just means more people disagree than agree and that should a decent metric to start off on $\endgroup$ Jun 17, 2023 at 6:16

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