As everyone probably knows, very few people actually follow the main rule of single-word-requests:
YOU MUST INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE
Thus we have many low-quality questions, many of which get closed. I think we could prevent some of this by warning people with tag warnings (also called "tag tips", originally introduced here), which show up when asking a question and adding a tag that has a warning. It won't stop it completely, but I think that it would definitely be a help, since so many people are receptive to make the change after they're told manually by someone.
You can easily see this feature on other sites, for example with [font-identification] on Graphic Design (you don't need an account there to test this either):
If we come up with a wording most of us agree on, a CM can put this in place for the tag.
It would probably be good to include some other information such as a suggestion to check a thesaurus if relevant, or a link to the tag wiki. However, it can't be too long. I'm not sure what the maximum is (do note that RPG for example has a warning with 455 characters), but there's also a limit to what people can reasonably be expected to read.
Answers & Voting
I'm not going to give a suggestion in the question so that voting is more clear:
- Votes on this question signal whether you are for or against a tag warning in general.
- If you have a suggestion for the wording, post an answer. Voting on answers expresses agreement/disagreement with said wording. If you have a minor change, leave a comment on that answer.
- I'd like to see the tag wiki reorganized so that the information people need to see is at the top instead of at the bottom after they've already run out of patience.
- I'm pretty sure most people correctly tag their questions with single-word-request (or a synonym) when they ask it. The query below tells me that as of the last update, there were 12260 questions that started out with the tag. Checking the tags page tells me that there are 15851 questions with the tag right now. This gives ~77%, but some of those original 12260 questions that originally had the tag don't have it anymore, so it's more of an upper bound. Deleted questions would also affect the numbers. Feel free to mess around with the data, but I think what's important right now is that we get a warning on swr ASAP.
select postid as [Post Link], userid as [User Link], text
where posthistorytypeid=3 /*"initial tags"*/ and text like '%single-word%'