A lot of questions on the main site have the form of "Why didn't character X do Y at juncture Z?" Or "At juncture X, Why did Y happen?"

It seems to me such questions would merit a tag; but - no such tag seems to exist. Is this intentional?

1 Answer 1


It would be a meta-tag like the old "plot-explanation" tag that was deleted so we don't need it. It would apply to so many questions that it wouldn't help in a search and no one would want to watch the tag. Additionally, no one is an expert at "rationale" in general, though a user can be an expert in characters' rationales for a given work or franchise (but then you'd just use the tag for that work or franchise).

  • 1
    1. meta-tag: You mean, like character-motivation? 2. apply to many questions: You mean, like story-identification? 3. No-one is an expert: You mean, like character-motivation? 4. Just use the tag for that work or franchise: We can use multiple tags on the same question you know... the point is, this would be a purely qualifying tag.
    – einpoklum
    Nov 18, 2021 at 20:28
  • 4
    @einpoklum Hmm, we should get rid of "character-motivation" (of which "rationale" would be a synonym anyway). Story ID applies to many questions but that by itself doesn't make it a bad tag -- after all some tag has to be the most used. There are story ID experts on the site so those users do watch that tag even if it is popular.
    – Null Mod
    Nov 18, 2021 at 20:37
  • Agree, the problem tags like these, see [plot-explanation] on M&TV, is that they can be applied to literally everything cross franchises and you can’t really be an expert in them.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 18, 2021 at 20:47
  • 2
    @TheLethalCarrot: Why is this a problem? You can be an expert in star-trek-tng + plot-explanation. And if you get a plot-explanation badge because of this, that doesn't mean you can explain anything. We have lots of tags like that on SO (e.g. "memory"), SU (e.g. "linux"), history (e.g. "war") and so on.
    – einpoklum
    Nov 18, 2021 at 20:51
  • 2
    @einpoklum - The story-identification tag is unusual for a meta-tag because it has some of the advantages of regular tags. It is possible to be an expert in story identification, because finding stories requires certain skills (knowledge of common databases, search terms, and so forth), which is part of why users of this site are often able to find in minutes a book that a querent has been searching for over the course of years. It also is useful for searching in a way that rationale is not: people may want to find a story on the site that they cannot remember, or a new one.
    – Adamant
    Nov 19, 2021 at 3:52
  • 1
    @Adamant: That's a valid point, but I brought it up as an example for how it's not a problem for a tag to have a gazillion answers.
    – einpoklum
    Nov 19, 2021 at 8:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .