I feel like we don't need to have both and tags, because I don't understand what the difference is supposed to be, and I doubt everyone else does either. Neither has a tag wiki to explain exactly what questions are supposed to be included.

It would be best in my opinion to have a single tag for all of the questions about "X of Y" constructions like "a number of cats", "the number of dogs", "50% of people", etc.

Dictionaries seem to define "premodifier" in an incredibly vague way that includes things like attributive adjectives. However, partway through attempting to retag all the questions (since they seem to be fewer than questions), I decided to stop and pose the question to Meta. It seems vaguely plausible to me that "quantifiers" actually has some inconveniently technical definition that excludes some of these constructions, and so someone would object to using it on all of these questions.

What are people's thoughts about the best way to categorize questions on this subject? It would be nice if the criteria don't require the asker to know the agreement pattern of the construction in question, since lots of the questions are about this very issue.

  • Out of curiosity, shouldn't it be ...and I doubt anyone else does either. instead of "... and I doubt everyone else does either." I'm just going by ear, instinct, and negative polarity terms (something which I picked up on this site). I'm not sure, maybe it's a BrEng vs AmEng divide again. Or my not reading enough books :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 19:19
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA: not sure. I wanted to make a statement a bit "weaker" than "nobody else understands it", but I might not have done that correctly.
    – herisson
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 22:18
  • Now that you have explained it, I can see your point and it makes sense, but maybe "I doubt the vast majority..." or "with the exception of a few..." or words to that effect, would make it clearer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 22:24

1 Answer 1


The OP asks the community what they think about the relevancy of two tags, and but the meta post comes shortly after another spree of retagging old questions that were tagged sufficiently well in the first place.

Funnily enough, the OP has retagged this question three times since February 2016. Will he please make up his mind once and for all, so users do not see this post bumped a fourth and a fifth time.

Among the slew of posts that have been bumped recently on the active page, how many of them were edited to delete the tag?


  1. “Are” Vs “Is” in the following sentences
  2. Why is a singular verb "is" used after "One-third of the population" while a plural verb "live" is used after "70 percent of the population"?

  3. why 'vote' is plural?

  4. A battery of tests is/are

  5. "Most of what" and "is" or "are"

  6. Shouldn’t we use "lots of" with plural nouns and "a lot of" with singular ones?

  7. Does a percentage quantity take singular or plural verb agreement?

  8. "I find it good that 50% of the American population (are or is) cool."
    A new question that has been edited and given five tags.

It seems to me that the OP is not really interested in a discussion, but in seeking approval for his latest round of edits.

Frankly, the tags premodifiers, quantifiers, and determiners, are all related and mean more or less the same. And I doubt that the vast majority of users who asked those questions, to begin with, would even know what they mean, nor care.

  • Not really seeking approval, no: as I said, I just started doing it and then realized it could be controversial. If you don't like seeing bumped questions, you can always use the "new questions" tab you know... ugh, I sound pretty whiny here, so I'll stop. Sorry for the evident inconvenience I have caused. I want questions to be organized well so that it is easy to find proper duplicates.
    – herisson
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 3:37
  • You start doing something and then you realize it might be controversial. Where have I heard something similar before? And then a votation, of sorts, was performed but nothing was done after that. And to be clear, I am GLAD everything was allowed to rest.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 3:42
  • 2
    As I've said before, the tag system is useless, imo. It's there, and one can play with it, but I don't think there's any grounds for considering it a valuable asset for this SE, anyway. Random variation in terminology and theoretical assumptions makes it impossible to use efficiently. In this it matches the quality of the questions we receive, so perhaps we deserve it. Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 13:04
  • 1
    @JohnLawler in its defense tags can be helpful in finding duplicates, but I'd agree that tags work better over at Stack Overflow. On EL&U their importance is overrated, which doesn't mean I'm saying they are useless.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 13:10

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