22

As @CreationEdge mentions in this answer, we have many tags where the official title of the work contains the word 'the' in the name but our tag on the site does not. Before the tag character limit was expanded from 25 to 35, these would just take up extra space. But now, we can expand these to the full length. Do we want to include the 'the' and 'a' etc in the tag names?

Some examples of tags that would be affected:

-->

-->

-->

-->

--> 1

-->

...and so on. I also see that we have a lot of precedent for including the 'the', such as , , , , , etc.

Should we go back and rename tags that don't include the 'the' to include it?


1Although I'd like to rename this , so that this doesn't get mixed up with the 'butterfly effect' trope...

  • 3
    Sound fully reasonable request and can be done by synonym method without affecting frontpage, +1 – Steve Harrington Nov 21 '17 at 12:16
22

Yes, rename them.

There's a lot of precedent for including the 'the' in the tag name, as mentioned in the question. We don't have to worry as much about running out of characters in the tag name. And it's best to a.) be consistent as much as possible b.) use the official name for the work/franchise.

This does not require a flood of the front page or anything - a mod can just rename it easily, so that's not a worry. It also makes sure that if someone starts typing the-wheel-of in the tag box, that comes up, whereas with typing the-wheel- won't bring up the correct tag.

  • 1
    Wait, what if someone starts typing just wheel-of in the tag box, will the new tag come up? – Todd Wilcox Nov 21 '17 at 15:40
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    Yes, it will. If you start from anywhere in the tag it'll suggest tags matching it. – Mithical Nov 21 '17 at 15:42
  • Awesome. Then I stand by my existing upvote. – Todd Wilcox Nov 21 '17 at 15:46
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    The only issue with this, for WoT specifically, is that it's not always called "The Wheel of Time" as opposed to "Wheel of Time". For example, this news article talks about a "Wheel of Time" TV series", and there's a companion volume called The World of Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time". – Rand al'Thor Nov 21 '17 at 16:50
  • @Randal'Thor - so maybe WoT needs a separate meta question. Or main question :P – Mithical Nov 21 '17 at 17:11
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    @Randal'Thor - looking at the cover of that companion book, it quite clearly includes the 'the'. – Mithical Nov 21 '17 at 19:05
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    use the official name for the work/franchise so you agree it should be defence-against-... not defense-against-... – Edlothiad Nov 22 '17 at 7:11
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    So now all are tags when sorted alphabetically are going to be in t? That makes it more difficult to find them... – Edlothiad Nov 30 '17 at 8:11
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    @Edlothiad Does it? Or does the fact that sorting through all of our tags only 36 per time already bottle-neck the UX? If you really need to see all the tags we have, a SEDE query is probably the best bet, not the existing UI. Otherwise, search and narrow. – user31178 Nov 30 '17 at 8:29
  • @CreationEdge are new users really going to be going to SEDE? – Edlothiad Nov 30 '17 at 8:32
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    @Edlothiad Are new users really going to go through 74 pages of tags instead of make a general attempt at a search? I can't imagine there's enough brand new users that need to browse the full list for it to warrant consideration here. – user31178 Nov 30 '17 at 16:27
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    @CreationEdge I can. I've done it when I was a newbie. – TheAsh says Reinstate Monica Nov 30 '17 at 17:05
  • @TheAsh Anecdotal evidence, confirmation bias, all that. We have thousands of users, and I'd be interested in finding out how many times that "name" sorting button is clicked on the tag screen with no search parameters vs all total visits. – user31178 Nov 30 '17 at 17:52
-1

No, Keep them the way they are. Rename the ones with "the" in them.

While most of the Mods here have been here for ages, I'm a relative newbie. And I still remember the days before I had the "create new tag" privilege. If you can't create a new tag, you must browse through an onerous list of tags to find the one that most suits your need.

Right now, the list is pretty reasonable. But if you rename everything to "The" the list will become extremely unbalanced by the "T"'s and make newbies' searches far harder.

Libraries, Google and the Dewey Decimal system all ignore "the". So should we.

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    ...why? There's a 'search' feature that you can use. You don't have to scroll through the list manually. – Mithical Nov 22 '17 at 9:29
  • @Mithrandir and if it's a generic question and you don't know what it's called? I myself just had to do this with my "If you give a mouse a cookie" question on Lit.Se, finally settling on untagged. (remember?) – TheAsh says Reinstate Monica Nov 22 '17 at 9:30
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    Yes, I remember. But I don't see why adding 'the' to the tags would make this search harder - if anything, it would make it easier for those who tried to search with the 'the', while not changing anything for those who search without the 'the'. While new users have had a problem with not being able to tag their question correctly, I don't see how adding 'the' will actually change anything. – Mithical Nov 22 '17 at 9:32
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    @Mithrandir try using the list and then imagine if it had "the". There's a reason libraries ignore "the". The brain can easily scan the first letter of the word, but not the fourth letter of a phrase. – TheAsh says Reinstate Monica Nov 22 '17 at 9:35
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    I'm a bit confused here. If you want to search for the-force-awakens when choosing a tag, you can simply type force. The the here is for aesthetics, and it doesn't in any way impact your ability to search. If you're trying to find a tag by a single letter t, you're already out of luck. I'm fairly certain human brains can easily disregard "noise" if your list all starts with the same 3 letters. – user31178 Nov 30 '17 at 8:26
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    I partially agree with @TheAsh. As a new user who is unfamiliar with tags and how to use them, it is helpful to browse through existing tags to get an idea of what already exists. Adding "the" to tags helps search but does not help with indexing. TBH I think a hybrid approach is necessary (add "the" to help with search but index without "the") but since the system is not built to do that I think it is appropriate to err on the side of the more heavily used interface (search). – Kapler Jan 22 '18 at 20:49

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