I keep this brief and to the point.

Yesterday, I created a new tag and only remembered to write a short description when I read this reminder: When you make a new tag, please write a description

The and have a total of 405 posts, that's a lot to wade through if you're looking for a duplicate question, or an answer on a particular aspect of the passive voice.

So far, the distance-expression tag has only four questions, but before I go on a tagging spree and track down other questions that fit this tag, I would like to ask the community for advice.

  1. Is there a better known, or more precise term that should be used?

In the very short description, distance expressions are also called impersonal passive, but maybe it should be changed to passive reporting verbs? Which name would be easier for users and learners alike?

  1. Should the tag be renamed distancing-expressions? I think that it is a more accurate term, but maybe it's not the best or the most useful.

  2. Which synonyms could be added?

  3. Shouldn't the following tags, and , be merged? How is this done?

For those of you who would like to know what the hell a distancing expression is, click here: Passive for distancing

  • Related: meta.ell.stackexchange.com/q/2478 I need to learn more about what is possible for the community mods to do with tags. It seems like at least making passive and passive-voice synonyms would make sense, but I'll wait to see what folks say about it. Sometimes terminology is trickier than it appears.
    – ColleenV
    Oct 5, 2016 at 10:14
  • 1
    "distance expression" sounds like it should correspond to "measure expression", and is otherwise pretty unclear. Maybe try "distancing passive" instead? Oct 5, 2016 at 20:12
  • 1
    @NathanTuggy whichever is best, but I'd like there to be a general consensus before trekking down Qs that could be tagged as such. Four Qs to retag is feasible, and quick to do, but if we run into thirty or more Qs that need retagging, then it gets to be a real pain.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 6, 2016 at 8:33
  • I fear users would use the tag instead of expression or distance. Is there any reason not to use passive-voice? Not everything in the question needs to be put in tags.
    – apaderno
    Oct 11, 2016 at 2:08
  • @kiamlaluno That's a reasonable fear, and that is why I have asked if there a better alternative. The reason why there is a need for a subcategory, I thought I had explained in my question. I'll give a fuller explanation: Finding older questions and answers that are even related to new questions is more difficult here than on EL&U, first of all learners often don't know the correct terminology. Secondly, users who post answers often omit technical terms.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 11, 2016 at 3:48
  • (Cont'd) Which leaves us with tags. Have you tried searching "It is thought/said /expected/hoped/believed etc.." among 405 posts? I am willing to trawl through the posts in order to group all the questions under one easy-to-find tag. There may be as many as thirty questions or as few as ten, but once tagged, we can refer to these lder questions, and with luck, close any new questions as duplicates if the answers contained in the older questions are good.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 11, 2016 at 3:48
  • Keep in mind that tag's purpose is not finding old questions. (I imagine with the purpose of closing duplicate questions.) If that is the only purpose of a tag, then probably it's superfluous. Tags are not for such a fine search, then.
    – apaderno
    Oct 11, 2016 at 4:35
  • @kiamlaluno It's an added bonus, what's wrong with finding an older question that asks the same thing and has received answers? Tags can be "followed" by users, and it's easier to look through 30 (or even fewer) questions than 405. You seem hostile to my suggestion.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 11, 2016 at 4:38
  • Hostile is perhaps too strong a term, but I can't come up with anything else this early in the morning.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 11, 2016 at 4:47
  • I'm not really fond of this tag, and I think distance is almost sure to mislead anyone who hasn't read your explanation yet. Distancing is probably better than distance, if we're going to have a tag for this.
    – user230
    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:25
  • About your last point: Yes, I agree the two tags should be merged. We have a thread dedicated to this topic now, so I handled it over there. The tags are merged.
    – user230
    Oct 11, 2016 at 8:40
  • @snailplane What about impersonal passive, or * passive reporting verbs* then?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 11, 2016 at 10:13
  • @Mari-LouA It's wrong that the purpose of tags is not just that. If that is the only purpose of a tag, then it should not be created.
    – apaderno
    Oct 12, 2016 at 15:49


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