I've been looking at the discussions on tags and off-topic tags and was wondering if it might be useful to have tags which exist but can not be used.
Why, you may ask?
The OP will type in what they think is an appropriate-tag-name.
If they are fortunate, existing tags will show up and one can be chosen.
So far, so good.
However, if the tag does not exist, the OP can easily create a new one (assuming they have sufficient rep), which will then need to be checked by a moderator and if found to be inappropriate it gets removed.
This cycle could happen over and over again on the same tag.
If a tag is deemed inappropriate, my understanding is it can either be deleted or blacklisted. If the tag is deleted there is no systemic memory that it already existed. An example of this is the resources tag. It was there, got deleted, but no trace of it exists except in the Meta discussion.
[NB: I do not know what the process is for blacklisting]
However, if it would be possible to show the OP that, yes, someone has already thought about that tag name, and, no, it's not appropriate (since it can't be used), it might gently guide the OP to use a more appropriate tag.
On another level, tags like meaning are possibly less useful than tags like word-meaning, phrase-meaning, or sentence-meaning since a form of knowledge base is being built through the Q&As. Possibly finer granularity would be more helpful. It is true, this practice is already done by the more thoughtful users.
Under this scenario, the OP would type meaning into the tag box and a plethora of tags would appear along with the meaning tag. The meaning tag itself could be highlighted in a different colour and would have a description saying to use one of the other more descriptive meaning tags, but would not be selectable.
I could not find a discussion on this, but there seems to be bits and pieces of concerns in different discussions.
Would it make sense to do something like this?
Is it even possible?