8

I believe there is ambiguity (and confusion) regarding the meaning and the usage of these tags; and a considerable overlap as well: , , .

Current tag infos:

tag excerpt:
This tag is for questions seeking or discussing a term (or terms) belonging or peculiar to a science, art, or specialized subject (e.g. linguistics, mathematics, physics, biology, finance, theatre, medical, nautical etc.) Consider adding [single-word-requests] and [phrase-requests] tags also if relevant.
Note: I've recently updated the terminology tag to make it more clear.

tag excerpt:
The vocabulary tag should be used for questions discussing a multitude of words in a certain field. E.g., the vocabulary concerning money or the vocabulary concerning leatherworking.
Note: I didn't update the vocabulary tag. Please see the details below.

tag excerpt and info:
This tag is for questions related to the use of technical language. Consider [terminology] tag for seeking or discussing a term (or terms) belonging a specialized subject.

Technical language refers to written or oral communication in a technical field that has specialized content. It is characterized by discussing technical or specialized topics, communicating through technology or technical terms, or providing instructions on solving technical problems.
Note: I've recently updated the technical tag to make it more clear.

Thoughts and possible solutions on the tags:

I believe the terminology tag is fine as is and I've updated the tag info recently to make it as clear as possible.

I've updated the technical tag info recently to make it as clear as possible. Although, it is still an ambiguous term. It can mean technical language or technical terms; where technical terms overlap with terminology. However, I've tried to make that distinction in the description.

Possible solutions:

  1. Rename tag to , as we have tag also.
  2. Clarify the tag info further.

This is one of the most complicated and ambiguous tags in my opinion, and I couldn't even come up with a good update on the tag info. It appears to have an ambiguous and/or outdated info.

Vocabulary is an ambiguous term itself without a context also. Wiktionary provides the succinct definitions below of the different senses of vocabulary:

  1. A usually alphabetized and explained collection of words e.g. of a particular field, or prepared for a specific purpose, often for learning.
  2. The collection of words a person knows and uses.
  3. The stock of words used in a particular field.
  4. The words of a language collectively; lexis.
  5. (by extension) A range of artistic or stylistic forms or techniques.

The tag info appears to use the third sense, which overlaps with tag. Although, tag appears to be used for many different things if you check the questions tagged with this tag (and we have other specific tags for the items below, possibly except the first one):

  • list questions (even the tag info provides examples of list questions also)
  • questions about a particular word
  • questions about multiple words or terms
  • questions about a meaning of a word
  • questions about the differences between words

Possible solutions:

  1. Get rid of the tag (which might not be easy as there are many questions with this tag)
  2. Merge the tag into tag (although the tags didn't always overlap in all questions tagged with vocabulary)
  3. Re-define what vocabulary tag is for. It might need to focus on just one area with a clear tag info. It can be only for questions asking for a list of words within a particular criteria/topic/field or linguistic feature (which was the original intention, and it can be possibly renamed to or ). I believe list questions are not explicitly off-topic if they are useful and within the usage of English language. An example of a well-received list question (although asked with the intention/wording "are there any?"): Words with "bi-" prefix that no longer mean "two"

The tag info has this also:

A few sample questions that are a good fit for this tag:

Terms for collections of animals
Informal terms for money amounts
Words for different types of leatherworking

Expectations from this Meta post:

  • You can share your thoughts and discuss, and clarify the meaning and the usage of the tags
  • Answers with solutions can be upvoted or downvoted
  • Mods or other authorized users can adopt the solution(s) if they deem fit or based on the discussion

Update: I've decided to post the solutions as a community wiki answer so the community can upvote or downvote; and a solution can be implemented based on the results. You can also post other solutions regarding these tags as a community wiki answer; or clarify the posted solutions without changing too much.

5
  • 2
    I've never understood what the vocabulary tag is for specifically in my 8+ years here.
    – NVZ Mod
    Jul 30 at 12:45
  • 3
    Related: Is the vocabulary tag helpful? Sometime between when that was asked and now I decided that [vocabulary] is a garbage can tag (used by people who can't find a better tag) and I've been trying to edit it out of any new questions. Tag filters are good for that, by the way.
    – Laurel Mod
    Jul 30 at 12:46
  • 3
    @Laurel Reading through your linked meta, wow, I found my own ancient answer there! So it seems in all these years, we have done nothing about that tag.
    – NVZ Mod
    Jul 30 at 12:52
  • 1
    "The vocabulary tag should be used for questions discussing a multitude of words in a certain field. E.g., the vocabulary concerning money or the vocabulary concerning leatherworking." Specific fields have glossaries. Not "vocabulary". A person has a good, poor, unusual etc.vocabulary.
    – Lambie
    Aug 5 at 16:39
  • "It is characterized by discussing technical or specialized topics", Only people can discuss things in texts or among/between themselves...
    – Lambie
    Aug 5 at 16:41

5 Answers 5

4

Remove tag.


Upvote: Yes
Downvote: No

5
  • See comment on vocab-list
    – Mitch
    Aug 5 at 13:22
  • 1
    I've always wanted to snap 'vocabulary' out of existence but I've got no gauntlet.
    – NVZ Mod
    Aug 8 at 3:33
  • Although I agree with this solution, I hoped there could be an easier way as opposed to removing it one by one from the questions tagged with it.
    – ermanen
    Aug 11 at 21:49
  • There's a hack that we can use to help a little: 1) Remove the tag from every question but the most popular co-occurring category (questions that should be tagged swr?), then 2) merge [vocabulary] into that other tag, and 3) the tag synonym can be removed but maybe there's a benefit to keeping it so the tag doesn't get recreated. It would still be a lot of work to do all the initial retagging though.
    – Laurel Mod
    Aug 12 at 0:38
  • By 'removing' I'm not in favor of manually untagging a million questions. I expect a staff mod would have to be involved and burninate the tag.
    – NVZ Mod
    Aug 12 at 2:31
1

Tags should, as far as possible, be self-explanatory, i.e. it should generally be possible to get a reasonably good idea of what the tag is for just by looking at it, without having to read its official definition. None of the three tags under discussion here satisfies that condition. Technical leaves one wondering: technical what? Terminology similarly makes one wonder: what kind of terminology? Vocabulary, as has already been pointed out in a comment, tends to be understood in a sense that is much broader than intended, and then applied so widely as to be useless.

Now, if one does take the trouble to read the official definitions, one finds it difficult to see what is supposed to be the difference among them: all three are about the terminology that is used within some specialised field (but not generally outside it). The OP's saying that there is 'a considerable overlap' among them seems to be an understatement.

Unless somebody can, in a further contribution to this page, give a clear account of what the differences among the three tags are supposed to be, and why it is important to keep them distinct, all three should be merged together under the name specialised terminology.

(In making this proposal, I am assuming that the software allows the moderators to change the tags on the already posted questions in one simple transaction; I wouldn't want them to bear the burden of retagging the questions one by one.)

-2

Merge tag into tag


Upvote: Yes
Downvote: No

-2

Rename tag to

Note: The tag info can be clarified as well.

One of the reasons would be that we have tag also.


Upvote: Yes
Downvote: No

2
  • 1
    My opinion here is that 'english' is superfluous. This is ELU after all. Or is this just to make it a noun?
    – Mitch
    Aug 5 at 13:19
  • 2
    @Mitch Yes, usually nouns are better for tag names and the naming "technical-english" makes it more clear what it is about. Tag names, by themselves, should be clear. "Vocabulary" tag suffers from that too as it is an ambiguous word, and I've provided details in the OP. I've also added another reason that we have "literary-english" tag also.
    – ermanen
    Aug 5 at 13:35
-3

Rename tag to or

Note: This makes it more clear that it is about the original intention: only for questions asking for a list of words within a particular criteria/topic/field or linguistic feature. "Vocabulary" itself is an ambiguous word also and it is probably one of the reasons why it is misused frequently. The tag info can be clarified as well.


Upvote: Yes
Downvote: No

4
  • 1
    I think 'vocabulary' should be avoided in the future as it is fairly weak, but there's no reason to remove it or rename it to something more specific. (too many qns to retag then).
    – Mitch
    Aug 5 at 13:21
  • @Mitch The only way to avoid using it is removing it. Otherwise, users would keep using it and some other users is going to remove it.
    – apaderno
    Aug 11 at 11:50
  • @apaderno Oh, yeah, I see that now. I guess removing it is a lot of work and I was thinking of that.
    – Mitch
    Aug 11 at 14:57
  • 2
    @Mitch It's a lot of work if the tag is removed by editing all the questions using it. Moderators can avoid editing each single question, but in this case, only Community Managers can do something.
    – apaderno
    Aug 11 at 16:00

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