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It is inevitable for language sites that somebody creates . The usefulness of this tag on other language sites is strongly disputed. We now have the chance to make an early decision against it or properly regulate its usage.

So I am asking:

  • Do we want the tag?
  • If yes, when and how should it be used?

Update: has been blacklisted.

  • By the way, a tag usage would/will have similar issues. – Cerberus Feb 28 '16 at 0:06
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No, this tag does mostly harm

My arguments are as follows:

  1. There is no need for this tag. Almost every question tagged grammar can be tagged with some more specific tag like nouns, pronouns, cases, tempus, word-order and so on. These are very helpful for searching, grammar isn’t. Admittedly, somebody could want to subscribe to or ignore the tag, but this would be equivalent to wanting to ignore/favoritise half of the questions¹ – I doubt that anybody would actually want to do this.

    The only exception I can think of are questions where somebody encounteredy an unknown grammatical phenomenon and wants it identified or learn more about it. Should such a question arise, we can create an explicit tag for them, e.g., or .

  2. It keeps people from using useful tags. My experience from existing language sites is many users tag questions about grammar with grammar and leave it at that. If they were not allowed to use the grammar tag, they are forced motivated to tag their question with more specific and thus useful tags from the beginning.

    Sure, we can try to curate our site and try to retag all these questions but my experience says that this won’t work. No usage guidelines on tag usage or tag warnings will prevent this, only blacklisting the grammar will. If we have a grammar tag, we will end up with a lot of poorly tagged grammar questions.


¹ Even if not half the questions are tagged grammar, half of the questions are about grammar and thus what such a person would want to ignore/subscribe to.

  • 4
    I argued the opposite position on Portuguese, in part because I think there would be potential value is subscribing to "half of the questions": someone who simply doesn't care about etymology and pedagogy and history might appreciate the ability to subscribe to only one tag to get to the interesting questions. – Nathaniel Feb 24 '16 at 11:18
  • @Nathaniel: Even if such persons exist, I do not think that catering them outweighs the disadvantage of having questions that are only tagged with grammar. – Wrzlprmft Feb 24 '16 at 15:47
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    I certainly agree that if we keep grammar it should never be the only tag on the question. Your point that users will be motivated to choose something else if grammar does not exist is well-taken; still, I expect that those who would otherwise select only grammar are going to need a follow-up tag edit regardless. – Nathaniel Feb 24 '16 at 15:55
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I can definitely see that a "grammar" tag might get problematic, but I can also imagine two situations in which it might be helpful:

  1. Somebody with a good understanding of Latin grammar who can't identify the grammar in a certain sentence (e.g. imperitátum in this question).
  2. A novice who, though s/he's made an effort, simply doesn't know enough grammar to be able to identify something.

If we eliminate the "grammar" tag, what tags might these two people use instead? (I'm actually asking—not meaning to challenge in an obnoxious way.) And how will they know?

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    As already said in my answer, we would create a tag called grammar-identification or unknown-grammar for this. If the asker enters grammar into the tag field, this tag will automatically be suggested to them, so they do not need any inside knowledge to find and use it. – Wrzlprmft Feb 27 '16 at 6:26
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    Ah, yes, I see—I don't know how I missed that. Sorry about that. – Joel Derfner Feb 27 '16 at 8:29
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As the person who created the tag (sorry!) I'd like to explain why I did; while I'm not sure if my reasoning was solid, I'm fairly certain that explaining can't hurt.

This was my question. It's about the similarities and differences between some words that are just defined as "or" in my dictionary. Since it's been upvoted, I doubt it's a bad question, but having read a few arguments for and against on other sites, I'm leaning against it myself.

I added it originally because I was, in part, asking if I could use "-ve" in a certain way. While I'm not sure if that's syntax or grammar, my gut feeling says grammar because it's about word usage. Since it's about grammar, adding the tag felt appropriate.

However, we need to define what it means clearly if we want to keep using it. For example, asking what case a word should be in would be ; asking for a translation with a piece of unknown grammar would not (it would be ).

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    I think that your question should not even be tagged grammar or syntax in the most inclusive possible definitions of those tags. It’s about the meaning of given words and suffices and not about how they should be positioned, inflected or similar. Syntax is a subcategory of grammar. – Wrzlprmft Feb 24 '16 at 15:56
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    Except part of my question is "is it valid Latin to put -ve on the end of a series of words". That's grammar, not meaning. – Nic Hartley Feb 24 '16 at 16:24
  • I am sorry, but I fail to find that part. – Wrzlprmft Feb 24 '16 at 17:03
  • @Wrzlprmft It's the second paragraph. "For example, can I use -ve to mean either/or" -- I realize now that it's not clear, but I was also trying to ask if that's valid Latin. I'll clarify that now. – Nic Hartley Feb 24 '16 at 17:04
  • Yes, it's grammar, but you're asking if your usage of a conjunctive particle is grammatical. In that case, wouldn't conjunction work better? – C. M. Weimer Feb 25 '16 at 6:07
  • @C.M.Weimer Given that this site is in its infancy, and I haven't participated in a language site before, I didn't know that was an option. Edits are always welcome to questions -- feel free to change it if you think that's best. – Nic Hartley Feb 25 '16 at 6:12

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