As of this writing, 40 questions are tagged word-choice and 35 are tagged versus. Almost everything tagged versus could also be tagged word-choice (except for a couple which would be word-order). My instinct is to kill the versus tag altogether since I don't feel like it adds any value, but I don't want to do that without checking with the community.

  • 1
    I have prescriptivist leanings -- y'all have no idea how difficult it is for me to start a discussion instead of arbitrarily and capriciously creating a rule and insisting that everyone follow it. Aug 24, 2010 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


I think that versus should be used on questions where users ask about one word / phrase against another one ("right" versus "correct"), and word-choice when the question asks which word to use without to offer two alternative words / phrases.

The two questions are different. In the first case of questions, users who ask the question only want to know if to use the first word, or the second; in the second case, the user doesn't have a clue of what word (or phrase) should use.

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    An interesting point, but then again, whenever I was looking for a word myself, I was rather tempted to tag my question "looking-for-a-word" or some such, but never "word-choice". "Choice" implies that there are several alternatives, that there is, well, a choice. However, when I am looking for a word that means X, I have no idea whether I will be offered several words to choose from, or in fact any at all.
    – RegDwigнt
    Aug 25, 2010 at 13:27
  • Also, I feel like "word-choice" is best applied to single words. When I am looking for a word combination or an entire sentence, "wording" would seem more appropriate.
    – RegDwigнt
    Aug 25, 2010 at 13:38
  • I think that versus should be kept if there is a reason to group that set of questions together. This is the main purpose of using tags, IMO. Clearly, a tag is useful if users understand what the purpose of the tag is.
    – apaderno
    Aug 25, 2010 at 15:26

I must admit that when I first started contributing, my subjective impression was that the versus tag was being used more often than the word-choice tag. Shame on me, I didn't bother to actually check the stats, and ended up tagging at least three of my own questions versus (and none of them word-choice).

In other words, if it weren't for me, the versus tag would be even less popular (and the word-choice would be used even more).

I also think that while versus is shorter, word-choice is a bit more self-explanatory, probably even more so to foreign learners.

I will thus start re-tagging my own questions accordingly (though not too hastily, so as not to pollute the front page).

I also suggest that someone with enough rep adds versus as a tag synonym for word-choice, so that future questions tagged versus are automatically re-tagged behind the scenes.

Oh, and do cast your votes for all the other tag synonyms out there! (If you have more than 1000 rep points, that is.)

  • I will submit versus as a synonym for word-choice.
    – Kosmonaut
    Aug 25, 2010 at 12:26
  • @Kosmonaut: Unfortunately, only nine other people can vote on it. When the temporary moderators are appointed, they will be able to instantly approve synonyms, so we may have to wait until then.
    – mmyers
    Aug 25, 2010 at 12:32

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