It seems that most of the questions I find in English Language and Usage are questions that should be tagged with writing (including the question on when the actual punctuation raised). Using that tag sounds to me like using the tag coding on Stack Overflow.

Is it necessary because it has a particular meaning (which is different from the meaning I am giving to the tag)?

1 Answer 1


I think it has a particular meaning, if it is used to indicate general writing style, or to distinguish writing from speaking. Or, if the question is less about language-y stuff and more about prose-y stuff. It's still vague (and might still be useless), but it is not quite as vague as coding on Stack Overflow.

  • Do you mean that the tag could be used for questions about writing style? Should not be better to have a more specific tag, in that case?
    – apaderno
    Aug 31, 2010 at 18:16
  • I meant just anything strictly to do with writing and not spoken language — this might be writing style, or it might be orthography, spelling, handwriting, etc. But I agree, there might be better, more specific tags anyway.
    – Kosmonaut
    Sep 1, 2010 at 2:28
  • 2
    I think what's equivalent to coding on SO is our top tag: "usage". On a site titled "English Language and Usage", it makes just as much sense as the tags "language" or "English". It could be applied to pretty much anything: spelling, punctuation, pronunciation, idioms, dialects, even etymology, you name it. In fact, it is being applied to pretty much everything, hence its top position.
    – RegDwigнt
    Sep 1, 2010 at 14:03
  • Very good point. The only questions where I would object to the "usage" tag are peevy prescriptive grammar discussions that have no basis in actual usage :)
    – Kosmonaut
    Sep 1, 2010 at 15:27

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