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A tag is useful if it has a descriptive name that is difficult to misinterpret and a good use description. Not all of our tags are this good. Which tags do you find confusing? Confusing can mean several things:

  • The name is ambiguous.
  • It is often used in the wrong way. Perhaps clarification would help.
  • The difference to another tag is not clear. Perhaps the tags should be (de)synonymized to clarify things. (See our tag synonyms here.)
  • There should be a description but there isn't one.
  • The description is bad or outdated.
  • You are not sure what a tag is supposed to mean.
  • The tag should be translated to another language.
  • And perhaps there is something I didn't think of…

My goal is to collect a list of problematic tags. Major tag changes are worth separate meta discussions (see the meta tag ), but I wanted a place where one can report any tag confusions. Tags of the meta site are also welcome.

Anyone is free to edit any tag description and users above 1500 points can review suggested edits. If you don't want to do anything yourself (we're all volunteers!) or you don't know what to do, please post an answer here indicating that something should be done about a specific tag.


To format a tag as a clickable tag in your replies (and comments), write it as [tag:the-name-of-your-tag]. For example, [tag:praepositio] gives . For meta tags, replace tag: with meta-tag: to refer to e.g. .

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is I think rather vague. It does not have any description either, despite being the third most common tag.

It may be good that was merged into it per the discussion here (Should We Change the Specific Words Tag?) but it still seems to encompass too many kinds of questions:

Requests for vocabulary

(there is overlap here with , and some degree of apparent competition: only the third question had this tag. Also )

Questions about the usage or meaning of specific words

Questions about morphology or the usage or meaning of affixes

Maybe it is fine to have such a broad tag. I would say that it is possibly problematic, though.

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    I think vocabulary is purposely broad. It should definitely have a description, and the description should recommend using more specific tags (some suggestions in the description?) together with it when possible. I retagged the Jesus question as morphologia instead of vocabulary, as it was not really about vocabulary, and I added derivation to the -mentum question.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Apr 23 '17 at 4:30
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    @JoonasIlmavirta I can't see a difference between "single-word translation" and "vocabulary."
    – cmw Mod
    Apr 28 '17 at 0:26
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    @C.M.Weimer I meant to synonymize them, but I had forgotten. I did it now. I'll let it stay like this for a while before merging to see if any problems arise. The purpose of the tag single-word-translation was to make it easy to find the appropriate tag when one starts writing "translation" in the tag bar. I only wanted to help people avoid (over)using translation.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Apr 28 '17 at 0:32
  • @JoonasIlmavirta That makes sense.
    – cmw Mod
    Apr 28 '17 at 1:57
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I have trouble differentiating , , , and . Perhaps some of these should be synonymized and the difference between the remaining ones clarified in descriptions. None of them have descriptions now. The remaining tags could be renamed for added clarity.

I recently asked a question with all these tags. They all describe the question well, but having all four seemed to have little added value over one or two. This suggests that the tags are redundant — or that I didn't get what they are supposed to do.

Maybe there are other tags in this tag group that I forgot.

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  • Personally I'd merge all of those into just "idiom."
    – cmw Mod
    Apr 27 '17 at 13:55
  • @C.M.Weimer I would synonymize them all with idiom, but I want to wait for others to weigh in before doing it. Once they have been synonymized without problems for a while, we can merge them. (Please remind us if we seem to forget to merge something.) Synonyms can be desynonymized, but merging is irreversible as far as I know.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Apr 28 '17 at 0:37
  • @C.M.Weimer I created the synonyms. Now I'm not sure if we should have a tag for famous Latin sayings/quotes distinct from idiom. Perhaps not.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Apr 28 '17 at 18:56
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I don't want to say it's confusing, but I find to be utterly worthless. What does it get at that doesn't? What's the purpose of specifying a tag for such a particular thing?

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  • Sorry, I seem to have missed this answer entirely. The tag "sentence-translation" was created before we got the language direction tags. I agree that there is little use for it now, as it only seems to say "I want to translate a whole sentence rather than just a word", which may or may not warrant a tag. Should we try to retag it away?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 25 at 18:00
  • @JoonasIlmavirta I can't see a benefit in categorizing things at such a level. To what purpose does that serve? Maybe a distinction between a particular word, i.e. a study in vocabulary, v. phrase/sentence/paragraph, in which the grammar matters equally to the word choice, and answers don't focus so much on particular words and their depth and breadth.
    – cmw Mod
    Jul 25 at 18:30
  • I don't think it's beneficial either. And another aspect to keep in mind is viability: If people don't tag in a way some great minds planned, the plan is pointless. Most uses of sentence-translation seem to come with a "sth-to-sth-translation" tag, so those could be just removed. The remaining ones might require more thought. Perhaps it's easier to discuss plans in chat.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 25 at 19:10
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The tag was confusing to me, as I realised I was using it in the wrong way. However, you provided a clear answer about when it is to be used. I post this here for reference, in case it helps others.

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    Thanks for posting here too! It helps keep the tag confusions organized. I created the use guidance, but of course anyone is free to edit it further.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Aug 11 '17 at 9:14
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I find that , , , , , and overlap. These examples demonstrate numerous issues:

  • Mixing of singular and plural; we should stick to one or the other when possible.
  • and should probably be merged with ;
    • I can see as its own tag, but should be merged with the above.
    • should probably be merged with the above.
  • seems to deserve its own tag.
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    You can make tag names clickable and tag-like links by writing them as [tag:saying].
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 9 at 15:32
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    Currently four tags (phrase, phrase-request, saying, idiomatisms) map to idiom as synonyms. These are just alternative names, but the tags have not been merged. I will add expressions to this same bunch. (Update: This is now in effect.) Motto is something other than a saying, so I agree on keeping it separate.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 9 at 15:38
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    There's a link to all the current tag synonyms in the question. It's well hidden in the system, but it plays a big role in (automatic) tag management.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Jul 9 at 15:39
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Thanks for the tip; I have updated the formatting.
    – Canned Man
    Jul 9 at 17:39

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