I'm being a little self-indulgent with a slightly punny title for a tag cleanup request, because SE tradition!

is supposed to be for questions "specifically related to written English", as opposed to spoken. That's actually not all that common a subject, probably since most of the interesting stuff to learn is already taught by the time someone can type out a question, or is specific to writing by hand (and thus rather dubious to ask on a computer). But unfortunately the tag is also a honeypot for questions about composition, i.e., "writing things". This is of course dead wrong, and in fact those questions are almost always outright off-topic, because the proper way to structure an essay or business letter is entirely out of our site scope.

What should we do about this?

  • Add to the wiki excerpt usage guidance, which users on SE seldom read and users on ELL almost never do?
  • Rename the tag? This would be my preference; I'd suggest .
  • Attempt to use the tag as a filter to catch bad questions? Probably a bad idea, since there are perfectly legitimate questions asked in it, and deliberately allowing honeypot tags is a dubious practice anyway.
  • Throw up our hands and ignore the problem, as is the case for a distressingly large number of tags anyway?
  • Something else?

2 Answers 2


I would support the change to , because there is far less room for (mis)interpretation. If this change gets significant support from the community (read: some upvotes and no strong opposition and/or alternative), I'd be happy to make the change.


I don't think would be used more appropriately than .

might get applied less, but only because it is a less obvious tag name than .

  • 2
    Even if it didn't have a big impact in practice, I would support the change because it makes the tag name more precise, without making it more obscure. If someone starts typing in writing, written-english should come up in the suggestions. Every little bit of guidance helps IMO.
    – ColleenV
    Dec 2, 2015 at 17:22

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