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The tag has 1000 over questions, but unfortunately I'm not very sure how to tag questions with that tag. The description reads:

This tag is for questions about a body of words. It should not be used to inquire about the definition of a specific word.

Maybe we can elaborate a little on the "body of words"? If not some users may interpret it as any question regarding a phrase may have the tag. Plus, I'm not even sure if this tag should remain here. Maybe we can burninate it?

Also, should we incorporate the burnination process that SO uses? Or if that will take too long, instead maybe we can impose a rule that no one can use that tag anymore instead of re-tagging?

Proposals:

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    Great question. I don't know what the "vocabulary" tag is for, other than "word-choice".
    – gotube Mod
    Sep 6, 2022 at 3:27
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    I don't like it here, I don't like it on ELU (where we've discussed it more), and I think we should get rid of it except that would be hard to do. It can't really be merged into another, more descriptive tag without extensive retagging, because it has so many unrelated questions. (Also I don't think "questions about a body of words" are on topic — it may refer to "name all the words"-type questions, as listed in ELU's tag wiki.)
    – Laurel Mod
    Sep 6, 2022 at 3:31
  • @Laurel Can't we just slowly get rid of them by cleaning them up? Like on SO?
    – DialFrost
    Sep 6, 2022 at 3:59
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    On Stack Overflow, you can edit thousands of questions in an afternoon without anyone noticing (or even caring, assuming that they're good edits). But on every other site, you have to respect the homepage, which is the way most(?) users find new questions and answers. I try to limit myself to 5 or so old posts per day max, which is why people say inane things like "I've been burninating this tag for years". So yes, very slowly.
    – Laurel Mod
    Sep 6, 2022 at 11:43
  • @Laurel Is it a good idea to add in SO's burnination process into here?
    – DialFrost
    Sep 6, 2022 at 12:09
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    As far back as 2016, before the woes of the world, there was the grammar tag with its 5,781 questions. Today that number has risen to 11,446. Despite good intentions, and some valiant efforts by a few crusaders to liberate the community of the ubiquitous placeholder, the grammar tag is stronger today than ever.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 6, 2022 at 18:10
  • @Mari-LouA There are actually multiple tags on this site that deem useless. Maybe this tag too? alternatives We might need a small clean-up of the site tags
    – DialFrost
    Sep 7, 2022 at 5:26
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    @DialFrost without volunteers, it's never going to happen. I know, I tried for two years to retag dozens of questions whose only tag was "grammar" which is about as useful as saying the question is about "language". There are very very few active users who actually care about housekeeping. If the site didn't have enough volunteers six years ago, they certainly don't have them today.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 7, 2022 at 5:32
  • @Mari-LouA :( We have a lot of users, just not many active ones unlike other sites where it's the reverse
    – DialFrost
    Sep 7, 2022 at 5:33

1 Answer 1

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I would interpret body of words as referring to a group of words used in a specific setting or by a specific group of people. Examples might include scientific vocabulary, legal vocabulary. So I suppose a question which might be tagged might be

If I use words and phrases which I am used to seeing in mathematics texts like site, group, and manifold will general readers understand me?

Whether that would be closed as off-topic is not relevant to what the tag means I think.

Having said that I suspect most of the people using it do not understand it that way and we have other ways of tagging special vocabularies when they are on topic on a site for learners.

Whether it is worth the effort of re-tagging 1000 questions at 5 a day is another question to which I suspect the answer is "No".

An alternative would be to rely on the Roomba script How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

So if these questions are also low quality then downvoting them and voting to close would help to encourage Roomba to delete them. This would avoid bumping those ones to the home page. Whether that would reduce the number sufficiently to make re-tagging a viable option remains to be seen.

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  • So basically [vocabularly] can be used anytime for anything related to a phrase? And maybe we can just put a stop to the use of that tag, instead of re-tagging
    – DialFrost
    Sep 6, 2022 at 13:40
  • Laurel seems to agree that slowly editing and re-tagging works if the user wants to, nothing is stopping them from slowly reducing the confusion of the tags
    – DialFrost
    Sep 6, 2022 at 13:59
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    On another site experience suggests that even altering the tag wiki excerpt to start DO NOT USE THIS TAG is of limited help. But I appreciate that is just an anecdote and the plural of anecdote is not data.
    – mdewey
    Sep 6, 2022 at 14:35
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    I think many users, even many experienced users, don't look st the tsg wiki or usage excerpt when choosing a tag for s question. I suppose we couls creae deprecated and then merge vocabulary with that. Sep 6, 2022 at 17:25
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    @DavidSiegel But then all the questions would have the deprecated tag, wouldn't that look super weird?
    – DialFrost
    Sep 7, 2022 at 0:49

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