So, none of this got done in 2014. Does this mean that we should just give up on tags? Doing almost any of these by hand will annoy people since they would all bump those questions to the top of the active list, so this requires assistance.

I’ve just looked through all 856 of our tags. Yes, really.

I’d like to propose the following clean-up measures, some of which are trivial fixes and some of which merit further discussion.

EDIT: See this answer, which might provide some relief to our poor overworked mods if the boon could be granted here at ELU. People should please try to suggest and vote on synonyms if they can.

Former suggestions that have now been implemented:

  • 1
    All great suggestions! I can only add a comment to the last one. I don't know what philology is but it isn't one-to-one with historical linguistics. But if the things tagged with philology tend to be historical then I'd probably prefer to retag than synonomize.
    – Mitch
    Jan 12 '14 at 20:52
  • 1
    Oh. There's only one question tagged with philology. I'd suggest just remove that tag for that one questions and delete the tag altogether.
    – Mitch
    Jan 12 '14 at 20:53
  • 4
    My own preference would be to syn/merge all of present-perfect-tense, past-perfect, conditional-perfect, sp-vs-past-perfect, perfect-aspect, future-perfect, perfect and [perfect-infinitive into perfect-constructions; perfect-aspect invites confusion with perfective-aspect, and perfect constructions involve both tense and aspect. Jan 13 '14 at 18:15
  • The problem is that new users/visitor will be unaware of some the grander naming tags such as: valedictions and honorifics to name but two. Until I joined this community I had never heard of these terms. A first time visitor will write: address, salutation, greetings, or limit himself to tagging the question with "grammar" or "grammaticality". BTW what is the real difference between the two?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 13 '14 at 22:34
  • 1
    Another observation, many users are British and will, for example, think: film or cinema instead of movies. I'm not saying "movies" is unfamiliar, but it's not the first word that pops up in my head when I think of "James Bond films".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 13 '14 at 22:52
  • 4
    @Mari-LouA, the purpose of synonyms is precisely so that users who don't know "valedictions" and thus write "endings" in the tag box will still end up with a correctly-tagged question.
    – Marthaª
    Jan 14 '14 at 0:09
  • 2
    I've made all the synonym suggestions the system would allow me to. Which was a grand total of 2. I really wish the "synonym" link would only show up for tags if I have the necessary rep to suggest them.
    – Marthaª
    Jan 14 '14 at 0:11
  • @Marthaª does the "valediction" tag have a description? Many tags do not. How to tag a question, is not blindingly obvious, unless one has patience to sift through the FAQs and the help section, people will more and more tag questions with "grammar" if the simpler ones are eliminated. I'm just saying there is a case for leaving the broader tags alone. Agreed that 856 are really too many.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 14 '14 at 0:15
  • @Marthaª: I agree. I've suggested it on MSO.
    – Hugo
    Jan 14 '14 at 7:02
  • 1
    @StoneyB Indeed having all eleven of conditional-perfect, future-perfect, needs-pp, past-perfect, perfect, perfect-aspect, perfect-infinitive, pp-vs-sp, present-perfect-tense, sp-as-pp, and sp-vs-past-perfect does seem to be getting out of hand somehow, but just where you draw the line is hard to figure out. What do you say we even the score by adding imperfect and make it a dirty-dozen? :)
    – tchrist Mod
    Jan 14 '14 at 21:16
  • @tchrist Well, anything that has pp in it should simply be rejected--is pp present perfect, past perfect, or preposition[al] phrase? ... But conditional-perfect should probably go to conditionals or conditional-constructions. Jan 14 '14 at 21:30
  • @StoneyB The problem is the length restrictions on the tags.
    – tchrist Mod
    Jan 14 '14 at 21:33
  • 1
    Maybe this is just my dialect, but I thought that archaism was more commonly used than archaicism.
    – senshin
    Jan 16 '14 at 20:16
  • @senshin You’re probably right.
    – tchrist Mod
    Jan 18 '14 at 21:55
  • Related: I would say tagging ten questions at a time would be far less annoying than retagging forty at a time. Some users have retagged "some" questions unnecessarily. When a question already has four tags, is a fifth one really indispensable? There must be moderation in all things. . .
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 13 '15 at 6:16

I generally agree, and here's some suggestions, but I don't feel so strongly either way.

I think would be better than and it's more common.

  • Change the name of to the canonical and make the former a tag synonym of the latter.

I'd never heard of before and think will be more readily understood.

There's some Winter Bash tags created between December 16th and January 3rd which should be synonimsed or removed (here's the newest tags).

I suggest at least the should be made a synonym of .


I'd rather see be the root and become the syn. I don't think most people would assume exists.

I guess this is a similar issue which really presents the greater question: Should our tags prefer "technical" words or "common" words? Most of our askers probably have no idea what a toponym is. The word doesn't even show up in a standard spellchecker. I'd rather see the root tag be .

But I don't feel strongly about either of these suggestions. I am much more pro-organization than I am picky about the terms used in organization.

  • 2
    If you want a more common alternative to toponyms, go for placenames. Places doesn't sound like an on-topic tag for ELU.
    – Marthaª
    Jan 14 '14 at 18:56
  • 1
    @Marthaª The idea is to have synsets that include both low- and high-falutin’ versions of things. Notice how spelling auto-corrects/auto-syns to the far less commonly used orthography. Similarly with the way singular and plura syn to the longer and more professional but less well-known grammatical-number. Provided all are aliases, it in some regards doesn’t matter which becomes ᴛʜᴇ canonical answer. But whenever the choice as presented itself, we have selected the higher-falutin’ “more professional” term as the one to which the others are synned.
    – tchrist Mod
    Jan 14 '14 at 20:35
  • @Marthaª And so on that note, we could have movie and movies and film and motion-pictures and cinema be the synset for one tag, of which I would myself prefer the lattermost as canonical because it sounds the most professional. But you could type anything you please. Regarding the nym matter, we already so very many something-nym tags that having toponyms fits in well with those, no matter what its synset is (like places and place-names).
    – tchrist Mod
    Jan 14 '14 at 20:36
  • 4
    @tchrist: I have absolutely no problem with "toponym". My objection was to "places", which sounds like it refers to vacation destinations or some such totally off-topic subject. IOW the common/technical choice ought to be between "placenames" and "toponyms", not "places" and "toponyms".
    – Marthaª
    Jan 14 '14 at 21:41
  • @Marthaª Oh right, ok. That makes more sense.
    – tchrist Mod
    Jan 14 '14 at 21:44
  • 1
    I’d second all these suggestions for using the more widely-understood term as the main tag. Another one along the same lines: [tag!singular-plural] would I think be understood by many more users than [tag!grammatical-number].
    – PLL
    Jan 14 '14 at 22:58

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