The tag seems too broad to be useful to me. It is not really a single topic, since it has been used to cover similarities in spelling, similarities in usage/meaning, and similarities in etymology. So, should we get rid of it? I have started editing it out of questions, but there are around 48 questions and I don't want my edits to be disruptive by bumping up that many old posts.

Update 2016 May 17:
Through editing, has now been eliminated. There is a similar tag, , which has only 19 questions and seems to have the same problems of vagueness and redundancy. I will try to eliminate this next.

  • By the way, I am not sure if it would be better to post this on Meta SE rather than here. I'd appreciate it if anyone can tell me.
    – herisson
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 22:44
  • Asking here is fine - I doubt Meta SE would be appropriate unless the tag was created on the parent site.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 12:01
  • This is the appropriate site - Meta SE is for network wide stuff. Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 13:02
  • @suməlic both are burninated, can you accept your answer to close this?
    – Helmar
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 17:35

2 Answers 2


Yes, we should review the questions in the tag, clean them up, and if no objections come up, a moderator should burninate it.


I have always read the tag label "similarities" as being the flip-side of the very popular tag label "differences." In my experience, "differences" comes up most often when a question focuses on distinguishing between two words that are close synonyms. But the opposite case, where a question focuses on two generally unlike words may have something in common, is quite rare. And since we have the tag label "synonyms" (as well as "alternatives" and—arguably—the dread "single-word request") to handle what amount to requests for alternatives to a given word, it seems not very useful to bring "similarities" to the party as well.

I suggest having the "similarities" tag automatically convert to "synonyms" going forward, after disposing of the questions that already include the tag—either by converting "similarities" to "synonyms" or by deleting the "similarities" label and (if possible) finding a different and more suitable replacement label. That would take care of instances where the tag currently appears in questions that ask about similarities in etymology or spelling.

I don't think that a brief surge in old posts with tag changes is a serious problem; but if most people feel otherwise, we (or sumelic) could convert, say, ten of them a day until the category is emptied.

  • 2
    Thanks for the reply! I don't think making it a tag synonym of "synonyms" would be a good idea, simply because "similarities" is so vague, and not all of the people that included that tag in the past were actually asking about synonyms. I think the tag should just be eliminated. Doing around ten a day sounds good to me; I wanted to make a Meta post to check in with the community though.
    – herisson
    Commented Mar 6, 2016 at 1:34
  • 1
    @sumelic: Yes—if it's being used in three different senses (and rarely at that), then it isn't a useful tag, in my opinion. I would be very surprised if anyone came out strongly in favor of "similarities" as a self-evident and useful tag label.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Mar 6, 2016 at 1:37

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