I'd like to suggest a new tag: in-universe-explanation

There seem to be a lot of questions asking for an in-universe explanation as to why something happened. I think this could cover a lot of questions.

Before I started retagging questions, I'd like to check whether this community thinks it is a good idea, and if they'd be willing to help add this tag to existing questions and new ones as they arrive.


  1. There is always an exterior light shining onto the ship in every Star Trek; where does this light source come from?
  2. What keeps a lightsaber from going on infinitely?
  3. Where does Q technology come from and where did it orginate?
  4. What happened to Optimus Prime's trailer when he transformed into a robot? - I added it to this question of mine
  • 3
    This seems like a meta-tag to me. Why would someone wish to subscribe to this tag?
    – DampeS8N
    Aug 8, 2011 at 18:45
  • @All: here is a link about meta-tags since I had to look it up myself. Aug 8, 2011 at 18:50
  • @DampeS8N: I don't think it is a meta-tag. Looking at the above link: 1. it's not subjective, 2. it does describe the content 3. it wouldn't be used on its own (e.g. additional tag might be star-trek) 4. it doesn't mean different things to different people. Aug 8, 2011 at 18:53
  • 1
    being used on its own is a good thing. "If the tag can’t work as the only tag on a question, it’s probably a meta-tag."
    – DampeS8N
    Aug 8, 2011 at 18:57
  • 4
    I'm not sure there's any need for such a tag. Questions asking for in-universe explanations either ask for speculation rather than a documented answer (in which case they shouldn't be allowed at all), or can easily be rephrased to not be in-universe ("Is there any evidence in the body of canonical works for this universe regarding X").
    – Mike Scott
    Aug 8, 2011 at 19:04
  • It already exists, see here ...
    – takrl
    Sep 26, 2011 at 6:46
  • @takrl - true, because anyone over a certain rep can create it on Beta. I wanted to see if there was enthusiasm for using it - judging by the votes it seems not. Sep 26, 2011 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


Why would there be a tag for in-universe explanations? Most questions don't specifically call for an in-universe or a meta explanation, so the answers give both. Either all the questions that ask for some kind of in-universe explanation should have it (too much), or only the questions that exclusively require in-universe explanations should have it (useless).

I can see that a tag for questions that call for some in-universe explanation could be useful in searches, and ditto for a tag for meta explanations. However, since many questions gather answers with some of both (I think, I haven't made any statistics), there wouldn't be many questions without these tags (except when someone forgot to put them in). So they wouldn't carry much useful information.

So, no, I don't see the point: it's useless if applied properly, and useless if not applied properly.

  • In addition, I think it's established (but I can't recall in which meta question right now) that the default position is to assume that questions want an in-universe answer.
    – Tony Meyer
    Aug 9, 2011 at 9:46
  • @TonyMeyer - Precisely. And where an out-of-universe answer is supplied, it needs to be far more insightful than simply "because the writer wrote it that way".
    – Valorum
    Feb 9, 2016 at 18:50

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