I've noticed that for the longer Star Trek titles we're using the 'shortened' version: , , , while the shorter-named shows are called by their full names: , , .

Given the recent 35-character tag limit upgrade, all of these shows now fit completely under the new limit. Should these tags be lengthened?

Likewise we have these other tags could also be lengthened:

We can keep the 3-letter abbreviations as synonyms.


Synonyms are a great way to go, but the full, proper name is what should be the parent tag.

Tags are standardized. We have conventions, and there's no reason Star Trek should be an exception now that we've got the character limit to allow it to fit the full titles. A great example is which has the child synonym of the oft-used "asoiaf".

There's also network-wide conventions with tags, such as them being in English (on the majority of stacks), which is the standard, supported language of the network. Similarly, we should move towards tag names being the standard names of the works, where possible.

One of the issues with these fan-based abbreviations is that, by necessity, the current parent tag has to be star-trek-ds9, even though it's already a synonym of deep-space-nine. "Deep Space Nine" is enough to find the work if all you know is the title of the show. "DS9" needs help from a synonym, the prefix "Star Trek" or someone to know the abbreviations.

Lastly, synonyms are supposed to be for the "common" terminology, while parent tags are meant to be for the full, proper term. That's even the guidance of the synonym page:

Incorrectly tagged questions are hard to find and answer. If you know of common, alternate spellings or phrasings for this tag, add them here so we can automatically correct them in the future. For example, suggest “bike” as a synonym for bicycle, or “sock” for socks.

In this case, "tng" is "bike" and "the-next-generation" is bicycle, and tags should be "bicycle".

Fears of people not picking tags isn't relevant, or even more than a wild guess it will happen. It's a bit insulting to think that someone trying to find "deep space nine" won't use it because the tag looks too long, even though it clearly contains the title of the work they want. It's also not realistic that our many reviewers and users won't add in missing tags when they see them. (And we're far, far from having too much edit or review work in queue. Many users often complain that we don't have enough, as they're trying to earn badges or reputation.)

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    I said this but was told that this was incorrect. IT's someone in TREU and I unfortunately haven't been successful in finding it. – Edlothiad Dec 19 '17 at 21:48
  • All I could find was this but I'm not seeing any reasons. – Edlothiad Dec 19 '17 at 21:52
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    @Edlothiad Well, this is the correct answer, whether or not people agree with it. I've spent enough time staring at our tags and looking at almost every tagging meta question to know what our conventions and standards are. And had to clean up enough messes after people doing whatever they want instead of going for uniformity and structure... – user31178 Dec 20 '17 at 2:43
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    I am fully aware, and you are not the only one, but apparently there’s a reason this breaks protocol. – Edlothiad Dec 20 '17 at 5:44
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    @Edlothiad Reason being "We want to do what we want without regard to our standards and policies as a whole", right? – user31178 Dec 20 '17 at 17:17
  • possibly, the collective disregard stopped me last time. – Edlothiad Dec 20 '17 at 17:18

I definitely agree that the full tag names are a useful addition to the site - we want people typing e.g. the-original-series to be able to find the right tag, and the possibility of synonymisation means that no information would be lost and people typing e.g. TOS would also find the right tag. However ...

How about using the full names as synonyms for the acronyms?

Same as your proposal, just with the direction of synonymisation reversed. I think (but am not sure - please vote this answer up or down as you see fit, and the votes will decide) that this may be preferable, for a couple of reasons:

  • The acronyms are more commonly used in the fandom. Again, I'm not sure about this, being not much into Star Trek myself, but in my experience at least, people talk about "TOS", "TNG", ... much more often than they say the full phrases "The Original Series", "The Next Generation", etc.

  • Longer tag names are more daunting. My subjective impression is that people prefer to use short simple tags, and longer tags are less likely to appear on new users' questions. Perhaps because longer names are more likely to be typoed or abbreviated, perhaps because people think of a "tag" as being something short and snappy, ... I'm not sure why, but my gut feeling is that people are more likely to find and use tags like than , and that if the latter was the master tag, many questions would end up tagged simply instead.

Of course, no matter which way we do the synonymisation, people typing either ds9 or deep-space-nine into the tag box would find the right tag. The only issue is which one should be the 'public face' of the tag, the one that people find when browsing the full tags list.

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    While I understand the reasoning behind wanting to keep the fandom abbreviations as the primary, I do think using the full, official name should be the default whenever possible, and fandom short-hand abbreviations be the synonym. From my experience as a Star Trek fan of about 10 years now, I didn't even realise the fandom had short-hand naming conventions until I started spending more time on this site. I think full names are more accessible and identifiable to a wider audience than the fandom abbreviations. (cont.) – Robotnik Dec 13 '17 at 0:04
  • Having said that, I do see the merit of the fandom abbreviations, which is why I suggested keeping them as synonyms. I even considered proposing that we add ones to the tags that currently do no use them (i.e. [star-trek-voy] -> [star-trek-voyager]). On the point of "..longer names are more likely to be typoed or abbreviated", well, that's what synonyms are for: "If you know of common, alternate spellings or phrasings for this tag, add them here so we can automatically correct them in the future" – Robotnik Dec 13 '17 at 0:06
  • @Robotnik - I disagree. We tend to use the acronyms far more often than we use the long form names. We should have the full names as synonyms of the short-forms – Valorum Dec 13 '17 at 7:50
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    @Valorum - That's kinda my point though: it's insular. Full names would be more identifiable to a wider audience than the fandom abbreviations. I'm not saying we should stop using the abbreviations in comments, or in titles and so on, but the tag system should be unambiguous. – Robotnik Dec 13 '17 at 8:55
  • @Robotnik - The tag should reflect the common usage. Synonyms should reflect other forms that are used. – Valorum Dec 13 '17 at 9:25
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    @Valorum We'll have to agree to disagree on that then. IMO, synonyms should reflect "common, alternate spellings or phrasings" as per the description on the synonym page. – Robotnik Dec 13 '17 at 9:32
  • There's a reason somewhere to not using this in TREU. Look at the page for the extended names – Edlothiad Dec 13 '17 at 14:30
  • @Robotnik Some of your gripes are problems with the tagging system in general. Trying to find appropriate tags, where the names are crowded already, is quite a chore (I've noticed it more and more on Stack Overflow). Tags should be easier to find. That doesn't necessarily mean we need longer tag names to compensate. – Machavity Dec 14 '17 at 14:16
  • @Machavity - I wouldn't call what I'm suggesting a 'gripe', I may be on the wrong side of popular opinion here but I harbour no ill will - at the end of the day so long as a site is consistent with the application of its tagging that's all that matters. – Robotnik Dec 14 '17 at 20:23
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    I'm all for synonyms, but I think that the full name should be the "regular" version and the abbreviations be the synonyms. So I'm not sure whether I should upvote or downvote this answer. – Thunderforge Dec 16 '17 at 22:19
  • @Thunderforge I guess then you upvote the question and downvote the answer? – Rand al'Thor Dec 17 '17 at 11:22
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    "The acronyms are more commonly used in the fandom." is what synonyms are for, by the definition given on the synonym page."Longer tag names are more daunting" is wholly subjective and I think a bit insulting to anyone trying to search for a Star Trek property. You provided two reasons, but not why do you think those two reasons are sufficient to completely ignore the rest of our tag naming conventions. Could you clarify that? – user31178 Dec 20 '17 at 17:24
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    @CreationEdge I provided two reasons for preferring the abbreviation as the master rather than the synonym. I'm not aware of anything I'm "completely ignor[ing]" by doing so, or any established policy/consensus against this. In fact, quite the contrary: the established practice has always been to use the abbreviated versions. Surely changing the tag names we've been using for 6 years rather requires strong arguments in favour than strong arguments against? – Rand al'Thor Dec 20 '17 at 21:56
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    The practice for 6 years has been "use abbreviations if there's no other way to fit in the tag name giving the character limit". Not "just because we had to make do with limited features before now, let's not improve things now that the limitations has been removed." There's already a list of tags that got expanded, and several of those renamed tags could have had the same logic applied to them as you have here, but they didn't get exemptions. – user31178 Dec 21 '17 at 15:59
  • @CreationEdge Well, the votes will decide which one the community prefers. I'm happy to do the synonymisation in either direction, and the good thing is that it's easily reversible if we decide to change the direction later. – Rand al'Thor Dec 22 '17 at 10:55

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