I propose we kill the tag since it is not a good fit for the ELU scope. These questions tend to be too broad or primarily opinion based.

This meta was prompted by this recent question on the main (now deleted).

Edit: I later noticed that the tag description says it's off topic. But then how can we prevent users from asking those questions, given that most don't read descriptions, and this time myself included, since tag descriptions are not visible though the mobile application.

  • Some questions were (presumably) in scope when they were asked, and some have only this tag. What should happen to those sets of questions?
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 9:42
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach I hadn't thought about it much, and I'm on mobile, traveling. Would there be an option to not allow that tag on new questions but keep it as is on those old ones for historical reasons?
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 10:41
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    No, a tag either exists or it doesn't. The only way to remove it is to remove it from all questions. For 43 questions, that's probably not too onerous, but there needs to be consensus on what to do with at least the questions which would end up untagged.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 10:45
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    @AndrewLeach Off-topic questions are meant to be deleted on the basis that they are inherently non-productive to our goals with the website, and represent clutter for people that seek questions which do. When Anime S.E. ruled that series identification requests were off-topic, they deleted them all. That would also get rid of this tag, and we could then blacklist it. Granted, in my answer I explain that I do not think these are off-topic, but if they are, then that is probably what should be done.
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 17:37
  • @Tonepoet Well not all, only those that met the criteria they decided. Others were locked for historical reasons.
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


Andrew Leach asked what we can do about those 43 questions with the tag, and more specifically what to do with those that have just this one tag.

Following a downvote from me for being "not useful", about 5 out of the 43 questions got eaten by the roomba.

For further cleanup, I'd suggest the following:

  1. Close and Delete these 6 questions with just the one tag; since these are not useful enough to be kept around any longer.

    1. (removed from list following an edit to better fit our scope)
    2. (now deleted)
    3. (now deleted)
    4. (now deleted)
    5. (removed from list following an edit to better fit our scope)
    6. (now deleted)
  2. These 2 questions could stay, but on meta with the tag , or we could close these as well.

    1. (removed from list following the removal of the tag)
    2. (removed from list following the removal of the tag)
  3. The 30 remaining questions can survive without the tag, so let's bring in the Infinity Gauntlet and snap the tag out of existence. Note that only a powerful being with a diamond can wield the Gauntlet.

Update: All clear. Requesting deletion of the tag.

  • 1
    3 and 6 deleted, others one away. I encourage that those with enough rep should scan the delete queue to get rid of questions altogether that don't belong (of course according to your judgment).
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 17:11
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    I did some further review of the tag myself, after I wrote my answer, and there are two things I have to say about this. The first is that most of the questions which only had this tag were resource requests for external lists, which are indeed off-topic. The other is that we shouldn't really be using tags to mark questions as off-topic, since that makes it somewhat of a meta-tag, and those are not permitted on the S.E. network anyway since they are problematic. In consideration of these facts, I'll vote for this plan of action.
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 16:47
  • Related to using resources: english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13340/… Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 18:14

To my knowledge, listing questions are not strictly off-topic at Stack Exchange.

Anime Stack Exchange shows how they deal with lists in:

What is off-topic are open-ended and unreasonably scoped questions where there are any number of potential answers, and no way to discern which one best solves the given problem are. There is admittedly a tendency for the two to go hand-in-hand, but certain questions requesting a closed list of words are cognizably ask-able.

As a hypothetical example that might be more relevant to our scope, I would not take issue with a question asking for a list of all of the words naming each different part of a typical shoe, because it is a list that cognizably has an end between ten and twenty parts. There might be a couple of parts missing from that list, like the insole and the aglets of the shoelace and maybe a few others, but I could not imagine that there would be very many more. The best answer would of course be based on comprehensiveness and veracity of the list provided.

More concretely the often absued vocabulary tag is supposed to be used for list of words related to a particular profession, and exemplifies these questions as a good fit for it:

Personally, I think a better solution in this case is to change the vocabulary tag to be a little broader in its intended scope so that it is not strictly related to professional terms (the money question isn't even such a question) and make the list-request tag a synonym of . This will not only eliminate the problematic tag, but it should also seed the vocabulary tag with more of the sorts of questions it is meant to have. The money question is just as informal as it is professional in nature anyway.

  • Ah good suggestion, but then again, a lot of those vocabulary-tagged questions we have are basically SWRs – noticed as I skimmed through them. I remember myself retagging a lot of vocabulary questions into SWRs over a long time span.
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 18:15
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    So, an answer that didn't include every item in the list would not be a good answer to the sort of list question that is on-topic?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 18:39
  • @ColleenV It would not be the optimal answer, but goodness comes in degrees and Stack Exchange does permit, and even encourages, partial answers. There's a considerable difference between a list that contains 90% of the requested items, and a list that only contains 10% of the items. If we notice anything missing we can address that with comments, or maybe make a community wiki answer so that people can add missing entries with an edit, if the question is reasonably scoped.
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 18:48
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    The questions on money amounts and leatherworking should be closed as they're open ended. The only list questions that should be allowed are those with definitive fixed and bounded lists. Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 12:27
  • 4
    I think the culture here for a long time has been that "Listing is off-topic"...and that goes for many sites. Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 22:23

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