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I am unsure of the pejorative-language retag to the question Word meaning "likely to cause controversy?" I would like to see this tag removed, but I think my reasons for doing so are nuanced enough to need explanation. (And I may be mistaken too!)

From the information given, I cannot say with confidence that knowing more about pejorative-language is the question's aim. The question's use-case excerpt

The name Self-Arming Group isn't as [...] as Gun Club, but controversial nevertheless.

is ambiguous on that point. The excerpt may be from a critic who suspects the group of euphemizing. But couldn't it just as easily have been said by a member of the club who cares about its success and is civilly discussing how the proposed names affect their image? If that's the case, it seems the member is fair too, for he goes on to say that the other option is still controversial.

The wiki says the tag is for "anything that makes someone or something look bad." Suppose the thing being made to look bad were not the club itself but the naming options. Then what if the club wants to choose a name that attracts attention, good or bad? Or one that brings a cause like self-defense into the limelight? In such cases, words like controversial cast both names in an arguably positive light. I don't think we have enough context to read this particular use of controversial as pejorative.

I also feel this retag needs to be undone because I don't see controversial as a derogatory word in general. Merriam-Webster, for example, defines it as:

relating to or causing much discussion, disagreement, or argument : likely to produce controversy

If a person or group feels an issue needs to be discussed, I think it can be OK (and in some cases, commendable or laudable) for their presentation to be controversial. I view the events that would make controversial a pejorative description (offensiveness, for example) as something separate.

What do you think, ELU?

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    I'm not for or against the inclusion or removal of the tag, but could it be that the question does concern pejorative language in as much as it seeks to choose a word which is not pejorative (or limits any negative connotation)? That doesn't seem inconsistent with the tag wiki. – Andrew Leach Aug 31 '14 at 12:41
  • I would not have thought of adding that tag, and seeing it, it seems a stretch. You're looking for a weaker synonym of 'controversial' and I don't think of 'controversial' as being pejorative. – Mitch Aug 31 '14 at 13:44
  • @AndrewLeach Possibly, but that's not an issue addressed in either the question or the answers, solicited or accepted. So people using the tag for that reason would be led to a dead end on this question. – user39720 Aug 31 '14 at 14:45
  • I just removed the tag - the question is not about pejorative language and that's what tags are for; the question topic. – Frank Aug 31 '14 at 17:15
  • Very happy to see you're back! If you don't have enough rep to do a tag edit, you can ask in a comment; those of us with enough rep can do it without a meta post, or explain why not, and the comments can be subsequently removed. – anongoodnurse Sep 1 '14 at 16:46

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