Moving this topic of conversation from If someone says "That hair tho", does it have a positive or a negative meaning?

I am more than happy to (or have someone else) remove the 2 instances of the word "slang" in my post as I don't believe that it would have any meaningful effect on the contents of either the answer nor the question.

I apologize if I mischaracterized/misused the term "slang", but I really don't feel like the back-and-forth controversy has been productive to the post at all. One of my references coined the phrase as slang and the question was tagged as slang so I used that word to describe the expression.

The tag description here for slang simply says:

Slang is a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal.

To me, "that hair tho"-especially in the context of social media- falls under this definition. Should this tag description be updated?

A quick google definition gives me:

a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people.

Which also, to me, the strict requirements also all check off as

  1. informal
  2. often speech over writing - I think this specific social-media-style of writing is more short-form and similar to spoken word than traditional written language
  3. it's restricted to a particular context or group of people - the internet and younger generations

What would be the appropriate tags for the post author (who isn't me) to have used for this question? phrase-meaning? Is this post really inappropriately tagged as slang?

Alternatively, given the low score on the post itself - is this not an appropriate question for this site?

  • 1
    In general, people don't pay a lot of attention to the tags on things around here. I've stopped tilting at that windmill ;) The reason the question has some downvotes is probably more related to the lack of effort in asking it than the tags. See the Details Please post.
    – ColleenV
    Nov 4, 2022 at 18:26
  • @ColleenV re: downvotes gotcha that makes sense to me. Submitted an edit that hopefully falls more in line with your link so that the contents of the post don't disappear as I think it could still have value for some folks :)
    – ccchoy
    Nov 4, 2022 at 18:36
  • 2
    There's nothing to apologize for. This is, for the most part, one person arguing with you about a technical difference of opinion. The length of the comment thread eventually attracted a second person on the Internet with the same opinion. So what? You've had someone else supporting your opinion the whole time.
    – gotube Mod
    Nov 4, 2022 at 19:20
  • 3
    As to the low score on the question, maybe half the questions on the front page have a net-zero vote total, so this is typical for our site.
    – gotube Mod
    Nov 4, 2022 at 19:22
  • I admittedly am not intimately familiar with the nuances of colloquial language, idioms, slang, etc. & I'd imagine other folks on this site may not be either so I thought I'd post here about it and get folks opinions. particularly if updating a tag description would help or heck if "does this really even matter" and yes my mental health thanks @Esther and others :)
    – ccchoy
    Nov 4, 2022 at 20:12
  • as for the score which looks like (right now) is at 0, I asked that Q because I've seen it drop below multiple times but never go above. but thanks for the reassurance
    – ccchoy
    Nov 4, 2022 at 20:13
  • 3
    One thing to bear in mind is that on a site for learners the OP is likely not to understand the finer nuances of English and so their tags may turn out to be based on a misunderstanding.
    – mdewey
    Nov 5, 2022 at 11:31
  • Linguistically or semantically, slang and colloquial usage and idioms are simply not the same thing. However, the problem in your original question was the lack of research.
    – Lambie
    Nov 5, 2022 at 16:24
  • @Lambie Are you saying that the original Q on the main site lacked research? That was asked by Marah Elwani who has not posted on this meta thread. If you mean the original question of this thread, meta questions do not need to show research. As to your statement, idioms are not at all the same as either slang or colloquial language, but the latter two are often used in quite similar ways. Nov 6, 2022 at 0:33
  • @ccchoy With my magic X-ray goggles, I can see that the total votes on the question are currently 2 up and 1 down = net +1. You're right, you don't have to be an expert in anything to post here. +8 votes on a non-HNQ answer and top-voted answer is pretty darn good, all the more for a relative newbie. It's clear to me the people have made their choice.
    – gotube Mod
    Nov 6, 2022 at 7:18
  • @DavidSiegel Yes, original question means the non-Meta question. The question that appeared in ELL. And yes, there was no research that Marah Elwani.
    – Lambie
    Nov 7, 2022 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


Does it matter really? Tags (and terms used in posts) are there to help people find posts that might be relevant to something they're searching for, not to precisely define the content of them. If a learner might conflate "colloquial" with "slang" then replacing with actually makes it harder for them to find answers.

While it is worthwhile to re-read a post to see if there is anything you want to change to address feedback you've gotten, it's OK to decide that feedback doesn't merit a change to your answer. If you feel the back and forth in the comments isn't productive, well, it takes two to tango. You are not obligated to keep arguing until someone agrees with you.

It's easy to get caught up, so if you realize you've gotten a little off track, you can always ask for a moderator's help to either move the discussion to a chat room if you want to keep discussing it, or pare down the comments to just the most constructive points by flagging one of the comments and explaining the situation.

  • The discussion on the original question I think came from me. Everybody kept saying it was slang and I disagreed as the expression existed in the language long before being picked up by the twitterverse et alia. My objection was not to the poster's use of the word but those posting answers who insisted it was.. So...
    – Lambie
    Nov 7, 2022 at 17:14
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    @Lambie: If you disagree with an answer, leave a comment (on the answer, not the question), downvote it, and move on, or write your own answer. The question comments are not for general "everyone else is wrong about this" complaints, as the author of the question is unable to address such complaints.
    – Kevin
    Nov 12, 2022 at 7:20

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