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I was browsing through tags, and I noticed that it was very messy. Lot's of tags that are off-topic, lot's of tags that could be easily merged, and lot's of tags that don't make sense. Here is a list of most (but not all) the tags that seem off to me:

Off-topic

  • I don't think this has anything to do with English. You could say a question that came from someone's confusion with the show is on-topic (and you're right) but do we need a tag for this? Also, only one user has tagged any question with "Seinfeld". Should we add a tag also?

  • Isn't this site about English?

  • is "English words about cooking" useful enough to warrant it's own tag? So far, there are only two questions tagged with "cooking", I don't think it will be missed.

  • Haha, isn't this one a little bit self-contradictory? Kind of like "This page is intentionally left blank"?

Single word tags

Should we delete "word tags"?

Tags that don't make sense

Neither of these tags make any sense to me. (both with 2 tags).

Tags that could be merged

Why is (28) a tag, when it could easily be merged with (931), or maybe (539)?

Why is (18) a tag when it could easily be merged with (223)?

Should be

Should be

Should be

I don't even know what to do with . Extremely broad. Every question is on this site is about words in some form or another. Could be or

Incorrect/misspelled tags

We should delete and

What do you guys think?

EDIT

I have added seven tags to this list.

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  • Sheesh. Thanks (Or Tanks, if you may prefer)! I purposed a tag-merging academy a while ago. It stood still like water of a pond in a bright, sunny morning. But this, this... I appreciate it and applaud accordingly. +1 – M.A.R. Apr 18 '15 at 17:43
  • Thankyou! I saw someone else recommend deleting cooking and they got severely downvoted, so I was worried no one would want to do anything about these. I'm glad I'm not the only one. – James Apr 18 '15 at 18:14
  • because past simple is one type of past tense. And someone before suggested keeping grammer in case a learner thought that this was the correct spelling. I guess one could make it a tag-synonym with grammar. – user6951 Apr 26 '15 at 20:25
  • Also, I do not know why @200_success is getting rid of the 'collocation' tag, as that seems an apt tag for a language site. Not all learners here are beginners. – user6951 Apr 26 '15 at 20:31
  • @pazzo I'm not against the existence of the collocation tag. But what exactly is the collocation in question for questions 42728, 52265, 52840, and 55592? – 200_success Apr 27 '15 at 17:57
  • I agree with eliminating all of the tags mentioned, but how do we move forward? It's somewhat difficult to see the community consensus when you make an omnibus proposal like this. Meta works best when it is actually a Q&A. Each of these categories could be a question, e.g. "Shall we eliminate off-topic tags?", followed by self-answers 1. "Let's eliminate seinfeld"; 2. "Let's eliminate french", etc. Then it's clear what we're voting for. – 200_success Apr 27 '15 at 18:07
  • @200_success So should I write 20+ answers asking if we should delete each individual tag? Or should we break it apart into several smaller Q&A's? – James Apr 27 '15 at 18:19
  • In general, a Q&A format works better. Whether each tag needs to be addressed separately is debatable — the single-word tags can probably be treated as a group. Alternatively, convince one sympathetic moderator to just do the Right Thing. – 200_success Apr 27 '15 at 18:47
  • Ok. I'm going to split this question up into a couple smaller ones. – James Apr 27 '15 at 20:09
  • Deleting the grammer tag was asked before (meta.ell.stackexchange.com/questions/990/delete-the-grammer-tag). It was seen as a necessary trap for mis-spellings. – Chenmunka May 1 '15 at 8:04
  • I'm glad I'm not the only person who finds "This page is intentionally blank." both humorous and annoying. – Dog Lover Aug 30 '15 at 8:34
  • @Dog untagged isn't something you could tag a question with. It's just put by the system process when the only tag that the question had gets removed. (Wonder how I missed this earlier) – M.A.R. Oct 9 '15 at 14:25
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Well, nobody kept up. Some of this has been done, some hasn't. Here is an updated list (which should be fairly self-explanatory):

Off-topic

  • x
  • Discussed here. Mainly used for "What's the English equivalent of this French word?"
  • x
  • This is a system tag that will be recreated when needed. The one Q tagged like this should be deleted, IMO.

Single word tags

Tags that don't make sense

  • Essentially + . Used for "Should I use like or as here?"
  • This is an accurate tag for one question it's on, considering the definition. It will be deleted in 6 months if it is only on that one question.

Tags that could be merged

Incorrect/misspelled tags

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I agree with the OP. Many tags can be grouped or removed. This is what I propose:

  1. French, German, Greek, Latin and e.t.c should be a group of borrowed words, i.e. the tag 'loan-words'
  2. Seinfeld should be removed. It's not a necessary tag and it doesn't have anything to do with English!
  3. Cooking must not be a tag! Instead words that have anything to do with cooking should have 'word-' tags while sentences should have either 'sentence-' tags or similar, appropriate tags.
  4. Untagged can stay. Sometimes a new user (especially) can't understand what tag to use and which tag is appropriate. But should it really bare the name "untagged"?
  5. "Single word tags" have no reason to exist. Any word could be a tag then. For every word whether it is a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb or anything else there could instead be an appropriate tag "nouns", "verbs", "adjectives".
  6. "any tag that doesn't make sense" should definitely be removed.
  7. "terminology" in fact could be either a "word-meaning" or a "word-definition" tag. By the way I cannot understand in what way they differ? Yet, it means: For questions about technical or specialized words in fields like grammar, sailing, computers, marketing, research, etc. so I would leave it!
  8. "past-simple" tag is good but do we really need a separate tag for every tense? Even so English has only two tenses and a lot of aspects that have different names. Why not group them into a "tenses & aspects of tenses" tag or something similar? If not then I advise creating three tags "past-tense", "present-tense" and "future-tense".
  9. "opposite-words" if that is an antonym (I'm sure it is) then this should be removed. There should be tags "antonyms" and "synonyms". There could also be "word-rhyming" and "similar-sounding" tags.
  10. "sat-exam" i cannot understand why we need this? "exam-question" is no better! How do exam-questions differ from grammar questions or questions about using words and understanding them in context?
  11. "word" tag is definitely too broad. My advice is we remove it!
  12. "misspelled and incorrect tags" should be removed immediately!

I have also looked through the tags and found more:

  1. "internet" tag. What interest does an "internet" tag give us? it says: Unconventional English usage usually found on the web, in chatrooms, short text messages, and so on. But all this can be within the "usage" tag.
  2. "mathematics" tag should be grouped with the "terminology" tag.
  3. "speech" strange tag. If we speak about spoken English then we have a tag "spoken-english" and if we speak about different dialects why not combine it with the "dialect" tag?
  4. "email" tag. How does this have any value on ELL?
  5. "jargon" and "slang" tags must be grouped I think.
  6. "gapping" I can't understand this tag and why we need it!

There are very many tags that don't have an explanation thus can't be categorized appropriately.

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  • 2
    I can address gapping by writing a tag wiki and making sure it's applied more consistently. Jargon and slang express different concepts, so I'm against merging them. Untagged is part of how the site works and we can't get rid of it anyway. Some of the other tags have already been dealt with, in particular opposite-words, sat-exam, and word. – snailplane Dec 7 '16 at 16:51
  • I personally think we should get rid of exam-question, but that probably needs its own meta post. – snailplane Dec 7 '16 at 17:03
  • @snailplane We (ELL) should discuss exam-question. There are many of those sorts of questions where the manufactured sentences don't really represent typical English or the question is just poorly written. I'm not in love with the name of the tag, but I think the concept is useful. – ColleenV Dec 7 '16 at 18:36
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    @ColleenV I feel like it's a meta tag. It doesn't really tell you what the question is about. An exam question could ask anything at all about the English language. It would never make sense to have only that tag on a given question, because you always need at least one other tag to tell you what the question is about. Is it about prepositions? Tense? Conjugation? – snailplane Dec 7 '16 at 18:51
  • @snailplane oh, I see it as more like headlinese, or a warning that even though the question is about articles it was inspired by a source that has special features that might change the answer. I can be convinced it's not useful, but I do think questions should in general be tagged with more than one tag, so I'm more tolerant of tags that need other tags to work well. – ColleenV Dec 7 '16 at 20:14
  • @ColleenV Why is more tags better? If a question is just about articles, why does it need a second tag? – Catija Dec 7 '16 at 20:59
  • @Catija More tags are better if they add more information. I rarely find that a single tag captures everything that might be interesting about the question and it's answers. If someone asks why an indefinite article wasn't used in a headline, should that be tagged just articles? or just headlinese? or does adding articles, indefinite-articles and headlinese help someone find an answer to a similar question? – ColleenV Dec 7 '16 at 22:16
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    @Catija I'm not passionate about it though, because I think we don't get a lot of value out of making tags perfect. I'm happy to go along with whatever if someone else feels more strongly than I do. – ColleenV Dec 7 '16 at 22:19
  • @That's fair... though you should note, tags should have nothing to do with answers, only questions. – Catija Dec 7 '16 at 22:37
  • @Catija Well see I'm a weirdo about that - if the question isn't really about something specific, but the answers provide a really good explanation of it because it's closely related, I think we should stick the tag on there. I know that's not how it's supposed to be exactly, but I think it adds rather than detracts. – ColleenV Dec 8 '16 at 0:00
  • @Catija Here is an example of why I include "answers" when talking about tags: ell.stackexchange.com/q/111954 The author of the question wouldn't know that is conversational-deletion but if we tag it and someone finds the question interesting, they can click on the tag and see other questions that are similar. – ColleenV Dec 9 '16 at 17:13

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