For a long time, "meta-tags" have been discouraged on Stack Exchange.

Today I ran into the tag , which I think is one of these not-useful tags. Questions about "learning" don't seem to be much of a meaningful group where someone might have expertise. It's not entirely a meta tag because teaching English to learners is definitely somewhat of a skill of its own ... but I feel like people wanting answers that are more holistically oriented towards "learning" should be asking on English Language Learners or Language Learning rather than here. So to the extent that it's not a meta-tag, it seems to be a broad attitude-based tag that has an unfortunate (in my opinion) overlap with other sites. (I don't think all overlap is a bad thing, but this kind of overlap seems pointless.)

The tag has 81 questions and 5 followers, which is not tiny but not huge either. The highest-upvoted question with this tag, What is meant by “steep learning curve”? (current score 26), seems to have been tagged by accident just because it is about the word "learning".

I propose eliminating the tag "learning".

  • 1
    81 questions is a lot... a lot to edit. I'm sure there are many more tags it would be worth the time to clean up before that. The questions tagged with it aren't incoherently associated - EFL learning seems (mostly) relevant. That said, if it went away, I wouldn't notice.
    – Mitch
    Oct 5, 2017 at 19:47
  • A quick browse through tags towards the least frequent seem to have a lot of one-offs that still look useful (and surprising that they are used so infrequently). A tag is created when someone types in a new string in the tag bar, misspellings and neologisms and all sorts of weird things. If people reuse then they're useful I suppose.
    – Mitch
    Oct 5, 2017 at 19:58
  • Exactly what harm is done by leaving that tag alone? Have users ever complained? Has that tag slowed down or obstructed anybody's search? If there are questions with only the one tag, then editing makes sense. But resurrecting 81 questions spread over four, five or six days? Groooan...
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 6, 2017 at 23:57
  • @Mari-LouA: Well, I brought it up on Mera because I didn't want to just go through editing all the questions with the tag. I thought a moderator might be able to get rid of it
    – herisson
    Oct 7, 2017 at 0:51
  • Wouldn't that be blacklisting? Ask tchrist what he thinks, he's very much into tags and using the correct terminology etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 7, 2017 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


My vote is yes: die tag, die!

(I'd also like to see the very related tag, , with 28 questions gone for many of the same reasons.)

There are several types of questions that use the [learning] tag:

  • Questions about learning (usually learning English), some of which are recommendation questions
    • example: Where do I learn cursive?
    • Most, if not all of these questions are off topic: we don't do recommendations (at least not on main... if there's any content of value maybe it can be moved to the big meta post?) and questions about learning English in general should be asked on ELL, not here (from the Ask Question sidebar: "If your question is about learning English, ask it on ELL instead.") and should be closed, and maybe some deleted. It's more convenient to find these questions while the tag is still on questions, so I wouldn't remove the tag from these questions.
  • Questions that involve the word "learning" or other forms
  • Questions that look pretty normal...but the learning tag was presumably added because the asker is learning English
    • This is just a English-specific [beginner] tag and [beginner] is called out as a meta-tag in the very blog post you linked. These questions are not inherently off-topic either, so removing the tag is best; you may need to add some tags if there was only the learning tag.

Also, the tag wiki for is pretty bad:

Questions that are useful for people learning English as a second language.

I don't see any reason to wait to close or delete vote questions that are off topic (as always, make sure to use your powers wisely). As for questions which aren't off-topic and would need editing (if we all agree the tag needs to go), I don't think they should be edited all at once; let's avoid flooding the front page.

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