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Our taxonomy is a mess. As second part of my two part approach to try changing that to the better this is a suggested blueprint for tag wikis. (Part One: Tagging Guideline)

In this post I am suggesting a blueprint for tag wikis. If the feedback is well I'll put the result in a CW answer and accept it. Thus, providing a copy-paste blueprint for anyone who wants to help editing tag wikis. Including a list of all the use some other tag bullet points to choose from.


There are two things to consider about tag wikis. The actual tag wiki and the tag wiki excerpts. The latter are the texts that are displayed when choosing the tag or hovering about a tag anywhere on the site. Now to the blueprints


Tag wiki excerpt

This tag is for questions about whatever the tag is primarily about. The tag wiki excerpt can at most be 500 characters long. No mark-ups can be used. Only plain text is allowed. Thus, CAPITAL LETTERS are the only way to emphasize in any way. At a maximum one thing should be emphasized with capital letters most likely the primary requirement for questions with the tag. To save space only listing the most commonly mistaken other tag is advised. This example has near five-hundred characters.

Example: Word-Choice

This tag is for questions about choosing the best word FROM A GIVEN SELECTION for a particular context or meaning. The selection to choose from must appear in the question. If you do not know the word already, use single-word-requests.

  • Stay the hand with the capital letters.
  • List the most commonly mistaken tag for distinction.
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • The beginning phrase This tag is will not be displayed in tag overview page. Continuing the sentence with for questions about will improve the feeling of a more coordinated taxonomy.

Tag wiki body

Use this tag for questions that are about using a word correctly in a particular situation or context.

Consider the question check list if your question fits the tag. You can also look at the example questions. If this tag doesn't fit your question have a look below at somehow related tags that might fit your question better.

Question checklist

  • Is the question about the usage of one word or compound?
  • Does the question contain the word?
  • Does the question clearly describe the concern regarding the usage?

Example questions

Not what you are looking for?


While the example above is a tag wiki I wrote myself, I do not want to adorn myself with borrowed plumes. The structure is a merge from good ideas of the few other good wikis that existed already. In my opinion the tag wiki should provide answers to four questions:

  • What is this tag about?
  • Is my question complete?
  • What are good example questions?
  • I'm wrong here, what other tag do I use?

Those questions are answered by the introductory paragraph and the three lists. In my opinion three defining checks, three examples and three alternative tags should be enough.


What's your opinion on the blueprints?

  • 3
    Wow, nicely done. Well-thought-out and well presented. – Dan Bron Sep 9 '16 at 17:53
  • 2
    I think it's generally a strong template, though I did suggest a few minor copyediting tweaks to the two instances that you have already submitted in particular cases (for "grammar" and "grammaticality"). Whether the format will work well for every tag is unclear to me, but it is certainly a good starting point. – Sven Yargs Sep 9 '16 at 17:55
  • @SvenYargs thank you, I think your edits made the descriptions more concise. :) – Helmar Sep 11 '16 at 20:19
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Copy-paste blueprint

Copy everything between after the horizontal line, fill out the description, adapt the check list, pick example questions other tags (3-4). Done.

Yeah I know this looks hideous, but no one has to edit this to copy it.


Use this tag for questions that are about INSERT SHORT DESCRIPTION.

Consider the question check list if your question fits the tag. You can also look at the example questions. If this tag doesn't fit your question have a look below at somehow related tags that might fit your question better.

**Question checklist**

- Is the question about the meaning of a word or a short phrase? - Does the question contain the word? - Does the question clearly describe the concern regarding the meaning? - Does the question refer to the general meaning out of a specific literary context?

**Example questions**

- https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/335784/why-does-mickey-mouse-operation-refer-to-a-poorly-run-company - https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/323803/jane-makes-over-six-figures-how-much-money-does-she-make - https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/30217/in-sex-talk-how-many-bases-are-there-and-what-do-they-all-mean

**Not what you are looking for?**

- Use [tag:meaning-in-context] for questions about the meaning of words or phrases in specific contexts. - Use [tag:etymology] for questions that concentrate on the origin of a word or phrase rather than nuances of the meaning. - Use [tag:single-word-requests] if you don't know the word you need yet. - Use [tag:phrase-usage] for questions about the usage of complete phrases. - Use [tag:word-choice] for questions that concentrate on choosing between two words. - Use [tag:expression-choice]for questions about choosing between longer phrases - Use [tag:vocabulary] for broader questions, e.g. those that ask for lots of words at once - Use [tag:grammaticality] for questions about specific sentences and whether they obey the rules of English grammar. - Use [tag:orthography] for questions about spelling. - Use [tag:punctuation] for questions about punctuation marks, including commas, semicolons, colons, and all the rest. - Use [tag:grammar] for questions that ask about how grammar works, different grammatical usages, or what they mean. - Use [tag:expressions] for questions about expressions. - Use [tag:expression-request] for questions about finding an expression. - Use [tag:meaning] for questions about the meaning of words or phrases devoid of specific contexts. - Use [tag:symbols] for questions about symbols that are not considered punctuation. - Use [tag:contemporary-english] for questions about the linguistic currency of a word. - Use [tag:currency] for questions about money and its units. - Use [tag:finance] for questions that concentrate on terms of the broader financial industry and economics. - Use [tag:offensive-language] for questions about words or phrases that can be considered offensive. - Use [tag:pejorative-language] for questions about words or phrases which primarily try to shine a negative light. - Use [tag:confusables] for questions about words that can be mistaken for each other. - Use [tag:ambiguity] for questions about words or phrases with multiple or ambiguous meanings.

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