I just noticed that we have a tag . Its tag wiki excerpt rather unhelpfully says:

a mystery is something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain. Or a novel, play, or movie dealing with a puzzling crime, esp. a murder.

without giving any clue as to how the tag is meant to be used on this site. As for current usage, at the moment the tag appears on 20 story-ID questions and 10 others. Of those 10, some seem to have the tag just because the OP is asking about something they consider a mystery - How do Horcruxes work?, Can someone explain the ending of "Enemy"? - and some simply because they're about mystery stories, e.g. Understanding the limericks in Asimov's mystery story, "Out of Sight" and What's the sequence of events Milo discovers in "The Counterfifth Detective"? The first of these usage types at least should be killed, otherwise could be used on nearly every question on the site; and the second is not usually how we use genre tags here.

Should we keep this tag? If so, how should we be using it, and what should the tag wiki say?

(Note that even getting rid of the tag entirely would require at most 10 manual edits, followed by a merge into . Whatever we decide, it's not going to be a huge operation to "make it so".)

  • 6
    It doesn't seem particularly useful - Exterminate!
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 12, 2017 at 13:49
  • 4
    I don't think there are any experts on "mystery" specifically - either the genre or the tradecraft term; and can't really see anyone searching for mystery specific content. Have to agree with @Chenmunka Apr 14, 2017 at 0:13
  • 4
    It's not even useful as a genre tag because the genre's not on topic.
    – user31178
    Apr 14, 2017 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


Judging from the voting on comments and the now-deleted answer here, people seem to be generally against the existence of the tag. I've gone ahead and burninated it.

As mentioned above, its use on any question about something the OP considers a mystery is completely awful: by that standard, the tag could be used on pretty much every question on the site. Its use on story-ID questions could arguably be OK - we use other genre tags that way all the time - but the fact that the tag has been used so inappropriately so much suggests that if we keep it around, it'll just continue being used inappropriately. So:


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