This is part of of the Tag Cleanup Effort discussed here.

Discussions on the mechanics of this process are being had in the Tag Cleanup chatroom and will be posted in this meta question once they've been finalized.

The purpose of this post is to collect suggestions/nominations/etc for tags that should be part of the site-wide tag cleanup effort that is currently being organized. Please don't use this post to discuss the mechanics of that effort; once I have a few more details nailed down a second post will be going up to discuss "how" to do the cleanup. This post is just for the "what".

If you have suggestions for what tags we should consider adding or removing from questions as part of this cleanup effort, please post an answer. Each answer should include one tag or one very closely related set of tags, for which one of the following is true:

  • The tag is a "poor" tag - it does not belong and needs to be removed from all questions and allowed to be garbage-collected
  • The tag is a "missing" tag - it is a good tag that would benefit a lot of questions but isn't in use yet, and needs to be created.
  • The tag is a "misused" tag - it is current in use but not correctly, and needs to be add to some questions and removed from others.

Each answer should include the name of the (existing or proposed) tag, a brief description why you think it needs to be changed, and a rough estimate (as good as you can manage) of how many questions will be affected. Additionally, I have included a proposed set of "scoring guidelines" to more objectively judge good vs. bad tags that you may also want to include in your proposal - lower scores means worse tags.

(Note that just because a tag is on lots of question does not mean it's a good tag; that's why this coordinated effort exists :))

NOTE: Please do not propose either of the following:

  • New tag synonyms for existing "good tags" - Use this question for that purpose
  • Anything to do with "character tags" - Please see this question for that quagmire

Tag Scoring

(blatantly stolen and slightly adapted from Chemistry.SE's tagging discussions)

For each tag, answer the following questions with a "Yes", "No", or "Sometimes" e.g. maybe it's "yes but only in in some cases". (I've modified this a bit based on discussions with it's author based on Chemistry's useage patterns vs. ours; please feel free to leave feedback in the comments on this, as it's just a proposal!)

  1. Does it make sense to be an "expert* in "?
  2. Does it make sense for a question to be tagged only with "?
  3. Does have a single, universally-unambiguous meaning?
  4. Is likely to be used correctly just based on it's name?
  5. Are there "enough" (> 15) but not "too many" (> 10% site-wide) questions that qualify for ?
  6. Are people like to use to find questions to answer?
  7. Are there likely some users (be objective!) who will favorite or ignore ?
  8. Could be reasonably used to feed questions to a specialized chat room?
  9. Can be used to search for questions (for any reason) in a way that keyword searching cannot accomplish?

* The meaning of "expert" in the context of SF/F may not be obvious. For our purposes, being an "expert" in a tag means: 1) if the only thing someone knew about a question was that it was tagged , that would be enough information for them to feel confident about trying to answer it, and 2) it's reasonable for someone to have a lot of knowledge about as a separate subject, and not only because it's a subset of a larger topic (e.g. would someone know a lot about on their own, only because they're an expert on everything about )

For each "Yes", score +2. For each "Sometimes", score +1; for each "No", score -1. The goal of this score is to identify tags that are "multi-purpose"; since different people use tags for different things, we should strive for tags that cover all the bases.

Very roughly speaking, tags that score > 12 are "good" tags, tags that score < 8 are "terrible" tags, others are likely good but may need some clarification/renaming/etc.

  • 4
    Good tagging criteria – AncientSwordRage Mod Jan 4 '16 at 20:25
  • 4
    Since I'm banned from chat, i'll express it here. The approach you took seems to be an extremely level-headed and constructive one. I'm among the site users who are most pro-tag, and of this whole post, I upvoted both the question, AND all answers except for one (even that answer, I agree with to an extent but would like it applied in a slightly less broad approach). tips imaginary hat – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:54
  • I think my only concern with the current proposals is: If we nuke plot-explanation and movie/book/etc, then what tag do we use whenever we have a question about a franchise/movie/book that does not currently have its own dedicated tag? My impression is that all of the "fallback"/"last resort" tags one might use in that case are ones deserving of deletion according to these criteria (I agree they're all poor delete-worthy tags though). – Ixrec Jan 4 '16 at 22:58
  • I'm pretty sure those "instructions" are just the tag wiki summaries, so yes they can be changed. But since nobody reads even those summaries, we'll have to think about which one would be least likely to get drastically overused. Something on the nose like [tagless-work] is all I can think of, but that's probably no better than [science-fiction] or [fantasy]. – Ixrec Jan 4 '16 at 23:32
  • @MikeEdenfield - if your "interested" comment was addressed at myself, then the answer is "interested yes, will be participating maybe" (not a "yes" for reasons unrelated to either yourself or tags :), therefore please schedule it whenever you prefer. If I can I will join (if you were referring to me not being on chat, I can still read chat logs, especially if someone pings me explicitly). You may also want to check if Richard is interested, he might love the idea to play with a flamethrower – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 5 '16 at 2:21
  • @Ixrec - Bad Idea: untagged-yet-work. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 5 '16 at 2:24
  • @MikeEdenfield - EASY "poor man's review queeue": create a new chat feed with a special highly noticeable user; and feed the questions with catch-all tags. That'd get them high visibility – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 5 '16 at 2:25
  • Please look at plot-device – user31178 Jan 5 '16 at 9:19
  • Do a score for movie or novel. – Valorum Jan 5 '16 at 11:31
  • 1
    Also, the title of this post is clever, but is likely to put off anyone avoiding GoT spoilers. Something more prosaic like "Which tags should we destroy as part of "Tag Cleanup 2016" would be more appropriate. – Valorum Jan 5 '16 at 11:48
  • @Ixrec while this is a possible issue, it's mitigated, IMO, by the fact that it's only an issue for new/low-rep users since it takes only 300 rep to create a new tag. – phantom42 Jan 5 '16 at 13:38
  • 1
    @Ixrec that's the problem I have with the 5th criterion. It means that when we get 15 questions about a subject, only then we can go back and tag those. I propose a more question-centric approach: if a tag makes sense for a question and doesn't push out other, more important tags, use it. Especially for work-tags and author-tags. – SQB Jan 5 '16 at 13:45
  • 1
    @MikeEdenfield to clarify my position, I don't think it's necessarily bad to have too many tags or tags that don't see much use, I think the worst is having unclear or too broad tags that are overused. – SQB Jan 5 '16 at 14:06
  • 1
    FWIW, I've found test #1 to be all but useless on Stack Overflow; there are experts in many niche topics, but they're frequently unrecognized by folks who aren't intimately familiar with those topics. I'd tend to expect the same thing here. Perhaps it's a more useful test on academic sites (I suppose you might search for papers published on the topic to determine this), but how many folks would recognize a tengwar expert (for instance) here? See also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/239190/when-to-burninate – Shog9 Jan 5 '16 at 18:50
  • 3
    Is there any significance to the title being Harry Potter themed? I thought this discussion was about unnecessary tags related to Harry Potterverse, but the the ones' in the answers are all very general ones – user13267 Jan 6 '16 at 11:34

Untag Decade Tags:

Tag Score: -3

Impact: ~150

These tags are way too broad and it's very difficult to figure out when to use them. They have some very limited use for story identification questions but only if the questioner actually knows what decade the story was from. This makes them impractical for use in finding questions, and unlikely that anyone will follow or ignore them.

  • I voted +1 since Mike seems persuasive in his reasoning, but since I'm extremely NON-active on story-id tags, I would deeply appreciate hearing an opinion of someone who's an active, expert story-id user on whether these tags have any reason to exist. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:57
  • Calling @user14111 ... – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 4 '16 at 23:20
  • 1
    of note, there are only 6 questions tagged with any of these tags and NOT tagged as story-id. – phantom42 Jan 4 '16 at 23:23
  • 1
    Tag score: I make it +5 for this one. Imagine a user who's familiar with pretty much everything sci-fi that was published in the 70s. (Doesn't user14111 have a reputation for something like this?) – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 4 '16 at 23:24
  • 1
    @randal'thor To me "expert in the 70s" doesn't make sense. Perhaps "expert in id'ing short stories published in the 70s", which puts us in a boat more like the media tags where we have a different score for story-id than others, but these were so unused overall I didn't fee a need to do that. – KutuluMike Jan 4 '16 at 23:47
  • Well, as @phantom said, these tags are hardly ever used except with story-id. Let's just assume these tags are only used with story-id, and then cleaning up those 6 questions will be a small job, on the level of cleaning up [hairstyle] or [written]. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 4 '16 at 23:50
  • 1
    I also argue they're not good tags even then, because they won't be used properly. We would need to know what the story being id's was to know what decade it was in -- in many cases, even the asker doesn't know. And if we don't put these on every story-id question they become significantly less useful. I deducted points in my scoring because of that. – KutuluMike Jan 4 '16 at 23:54
  • 2
    they're also often used multiple together, like 70s AND 80s - because the OP isn't sure which decade it's really from. tagging a question with details you don't know for sure is incorrect. – phantom42 Jan 4 '16 at 23:54
  • 2
    But I also would really like someone with heavy story-id experience to chime in, I could be persuaded :) – KutuluMike Jan 4 '16 at 23:55
  • @randal'thor - please tell me we don't have a hairstyle tag? OK, that one is uber-unnecessary even by my standards. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 5 '16 at 2:28
  • 1
    I say that even in story-id, the tags are confusing. The tag only specifies that it's for the 19xx decades. When used on questions, we don't know if they mean when the book was published, when it was read, or when it was set. All of that needs to be explicitly put in the question body. Using it on its own, without body content, would lead to "What did you mean by 90s?" – user31178 Jan 5 '16 at 3:11
  • 9
    In my experience asking story-id questions, these tags have been useless and would have been detrimental had I included them. I've asked two well-received and detailed story-id questions, but when I guessed the time they were written I was off by at least two decades. I thought a short story written in the 50s was from the 70s and a short story published in 2012 was from the 70s-90s. If I had included the tags they would have been misleading. These tags are terrible and need to go. +1 – Null Mod Jan 5 '16 at 5:21
  • Real burnination includes preventing the tags from reappearing, right? – SQB Jan 5 '16 at 15:08
  • @MikeEdenfield I think in this case, real burnination is in order. – SQB Jan 5 '16 at 15:37
  • who do we talk to to get trogdor to come in and help with the burninating? – phantom42 Jan 5 '16 at 20:40


Tag Score: -9

Impact: 139

This tag is usually used in a way that should be a synonym for , but is more ambiguous and thus even worse. Again, a majority of our questions are plot questions, making this tag overly broad and thus probably useless.

  • For the 118 questions that don't also have plot-explanation, I agree they seem to primarily use it as a synonym instead, anyway. So what are we voting on here? Synonym or removal? (Since you brought up the synonym idea) – user31178 Jan 5 '16 at 3:17
  • Both synonymisation and burnination can be done simply by mods without needing to clutter up the front page with manual edits. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 6 '16 at 20:48
  • apparently true burnination takes an SE dev, though our mods can get the ball rolling. I don't think we need to waste their time, though. – KutuluMike Jan 7 '16 at 17:17


Tag Score: -1

Impact: 107

Much like , this is a tag used only in some of the instances where it is arguably appropriate, but is unlikely to be used for any meaningful search or categorization of questions.

There is also the issue of what people define as a "plot inconsistency", or more commonly a "plot hole".

  • 3
    To steal a phrase from Mike's answer, arguably 50% of the site's questions can be tagged with this, which is another reason to get rid of it – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:05
  • 1
    Alternative suggestion: synonymise [plot-inconsistency] with [plot-explanation], and then we can debate whether or not to get rid of [plot-explanation]. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 9 '16 at 12:33
  • In practice, plot inconsistency is not necessarily the same as plot explanation, though they often are. – phantom42 Jan 9 '16 at 13:59
  • 1
    @phantom42 Yes, but surely [plot-inconsistency] is a subset of [plot-explanation] (which is enough for synonymisation)? – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 9 '16 at 20:34
  • Ok but what's the point of synomizing to a tag that's about to be deleted? – phantom42 Jan 9 '16 at 23:08


Score: -6

Impact: 57 questions

The tag wiki notes that the term can refer to either the end of life of a subject, or the personified entity of death, so there's no clear correct usage of the tag to begin with.

  • do we want to delete this, or "fix" it? I could see it as an entry on the personification of death but I don't know that it would be a good tag (cross-universe character tags sound like a really bad idea) – KutuluMike Jan 5 '16 at 18:28
  • @MikeEdenfield I'm not sure what to fix, unless there's a significant number of questions about a significant universe's personification, in which case the star-trek-q style seems appropriate to me, such as marvel-death. – user31178 Jan 5 '16 at 20:32
  • 3
    yeah, sandman-death is a completely separate character from marvel-death, and i'd question lumping them together into one tag. – phantom42 Jan 5 '16 at 20:37
  • There are dozens of different personified Death characters, some very different from each other. And having a tag for any question about the death of a character seems ... questionable. +1. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 9 '16 at 12:39
  • 1
    On the other hand, it's a bit like having a generic tag for vampires and zombies. Yes, there are specific forms, like in Twilight and Walking Dead, but these are based on the same archetype. That same argument can be made for Death. Both the Grim Reaper from Bill & Mandy and Death from the Ringworld conform to this image of a hooded skeleton with a scythe. – SQB Jan 15 '16 at 9:21


Tag Score: -6

Impact: ~500

This question arguably applies to over half of the questions on this site, but only gets used haphazardly. This seems proof enough that it's not a good tag -- people do not automatically use it properly just based on it's name, and it can't be used to find "all plot-explanation" questions. Even if it were, though, it is too broad a tag to be useful in searching or filtering questions.

  • 1
    Just to prove that I'm absolutely willing to compromise: +1 for this despite the fact that I really like that tag :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:00
  • 6
    Tangential Note: if you downvote to express disagreement with the idea, you may want to consider explaining WHY you disagree. There's no guarantee, but people may actually agree with your reasons and support your DV with theirs - whereas an anonymous DV doesn't help you convince people. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:49
  • 4
    How/why does this differ than the same tag from Movies.SE? There, it's used in 2501 questions currently, and is their #2 tag. I'm not saying it's a good/bad tag because of it's # used, but I think that since it's used on both stacks, and highly, that we might be getting cross-stack confusion? (Note: These questions don't affect my vote, I'm just curious) – user31178 Jan 5 '16 at 8:36
  • it's one of the tags that's just too broad. it's about as useful as tagging every question with question or story. pretty much all of our questions fall into either plot explanation or some sort of identification. while i'm sure user14111 would love to be able to filter out all those pesky non-story-id questions, i doubt anyone else would find any need to be able to to (and they could technically search for -[story-identification] anyways) – phantom42 Jan 5 '16 at 11:58
  • @CreationEdge The considerations of other sites shouldn't influence the tagging policy on this site. I think it's very clear already that both sites use highly differing tagging policies, so it being a tag on another site doesn't seem a valid reason to keep it. – TARS Jan 5 '16 at 13:16
  • @CreationEdge in my experience, M&TV gets a higher percentage of questions that aren't about plot (behind-the-scenes stuff, production type questions, and even more story-id than we do). I still think it's a bad tag over there, but that's for that community to decide. On this site, it makes up far to high a percentage of our questions to be meaningful. – KutuluMike Jan 5 '16 at 14:13
  • -1 because I don't think this tag is any worse than [story-id]. Both apply to a vast number of questions, even though they're often not used when people post questions that 'should' have them (we need to edit in [story-id] all the F-ing time). "This tag arguably applies to over half of the questions on this site" - citation needed, and I think you're overestimating. Somebody (me, if I get the time) should do a survey with randomly selected questions to work out how many questions really are about [plot-explanation]. (cc @DVK) – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 9 '16 at 12:38
  • @rand does anyone realistically filter out plot explanation tag? I am 100% sure ppl filter out story id – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 9 '16 at 13:44
  • 1
    Like I said in chat, fundamentally, there's little difference between story-id and plot-explanation, and rand's argument has merit - BUT we know for a fact that there are users who very specifically specialize and focus solely on story-id (e.g. user14111), and users who specifically set story-id to ignore. Legitimate question: can the same be said for plot-explanation? – phantom42 Jan 9 '16 at 14:05

Rework to and add the tag to relevant questions.

Update wiki to specify it's for questions about the in-universe and out-of-universe aspects of costume design.

Current Score: 0
Reworked Score: 8

Impact: < 382

Currently 34 questions.

But costume -[costume] has 382 to go through, a single that fits in it's scope, and 56 results for costume -[costume] design


Untag titles.

Score: -3 (liberal scoring; usage clearly leans to using the tag to denote and easily identify a question about honorifics... but fails in all other scoring - especially regarding proper usage and possible ambiguity)

There are currently only 16 tagged questions and there is a very clear case of tag confusion going on with some people going with 'honorifics' and other people going with 'what is the title of this book' and still other people going with 'why was XYZ book or movie titled as such'.

Edit: Untagged the 4 story identification-related titles tags, so the number is closer to 12. If we untag the 'why was XYZ book or movie titled as such questions', that would likely remove another 4. Honorific-related tagging is very few and far-between... less than 10.

  • Is there a reason you're untagging "work title" related question instead of tagging with something more appropriate? E.g. "title" vs "honorific" or "book-title" (alias movie-title) vs "title" – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 9 '16 at 20:58
  • @DVK I untagged title from the work titles because no other similar questions were tagged that way. Like Mike said, it was all related to story-identification. I didn't touch any of the questions related to 'Why was this book named XYZ' and I didn't touch any of the questions related to honorifics, either. – Aith Jan 12 '16 at 3:55
  • @MikeEdenfield I guess synonyms would work, but there were so few instances of using title in place of story-identification in the first place - fewer than 5? – Aith Jan 12 '16 at 3:57

Retag all questions to make clear what kind of books are concerned ( or ).

Copied from this answer:

Whether or not it makes sense to have media tags at all (a discussion that seems to be still ongoing), it's undeniable that is a broader tag than the others. We don't have a tag to cover both films and TV, so why should we have a tag to cover both novels and short stories?

If we get rid of , then our media tags become less confusing and have no overlap.

  • 2
    Leaving aside other pros/cons of this idea, Is there a 100% objective, non-conflict-ensuring, way to clearly partition books into neat categories? And one that will also be obvious to most new users? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 10 '16 at 22:04
  • 1
    @DVK For most books it's easy to tell whether they're novels or short stories. If you want something objective for the grey area, there are some numbers in the tag wiki excerpt for [short-stories] - added by yours truly, IIRC. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 11 '16 at 1:06

UPDATE: This entry was clearly very contentious; it will likely be moved to a separate, focused discussion for later. Do not feel obligated to continue to vote or comment on it at this time.

Retag Media Tags: (syn: , ); (syn: , ), , (syn: ), (syn: ), , ,

Tag Score: 4/9*

Impact: ~1800

Previous Discussions:

I propose that these tags be cleaned up from all non- questions.

When used in conjunction with the tag these become useful, for example, to filter book-id from tv-id. However, if applied to all questions they would by far too broad (one of them would apply to every question we have, for example). While it's possible that someone could be an "expert" or "interested in" identifying obscure short stories, it's unlikely they would be an expert in all television or movies.

For consistency we should treat all media tags the same

  • For story-id questions include one of them on every question
  • For non-story-id questions, remove them.

NOTE: These lower score is for all questions; the higher score is we assume they're only used in questions

  • 4
    Sorry, -1. I think that these tags are VERY frequently used incorrectly and worth cleaning up surgically, but there ARE indeed correct usages for them which make burninating the entire tag from all non-ID problematic. I would suggest opening a separate thread for these where some meaningful criteria for where they do/don't belong can be hashed out in detail. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:03
  • I know there are occasionally places where we use them to disambiguate other tags; IMO I think there's a better way to do that. I generally don't like having a tag only make sense in pair, but [story-id] is an edge case that isn't going away. But yes, if these end up being contentious we can open a separate meta for them as we are with character tags. – KutuluMike Jan 4 '16 at 21:05
  • 1
    the only other reasonable scenario we could come up with was to distinguish versions in a franchise. eg: the harry potter books vs the movies. i don't know that it necessitates tagging, though. – phantom42 Jan 4 '16 at 21:08
  • @phantom42 - I can easily see someone like Napoleon following a "movie" tag, or for that matter considering piping it into MTV chatroom, to give 2 possible usages - the way I follow MTV's set of SFF tags (and greatly wish they had a generic SFF umbrella tag so I don't need to keep going and wondering which SFF works I missed from my list). – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:13
  • @phantom42 - another good use (which we may not be doing now, admittedly), is to literally use those tags for media-specific aspects. E.g. questions about film production tagged with "movie", about book publishing, with "book". In that semantics, the tag even satisfies "Can you be an expert on it" criteria – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:16
  • @DVK On some level we do this; we have book-vs-movie, for instance, and movie is sometimes used the way you describe (example). I'm not personally sure it makes sense to have one tag pulling double-duty, though – Jason Baker Jan 4 '16 at 21:19
  • @DVK If you mean the user I think you mean, rest assured that he personally despises those awful media tags and wouldn't ever want to use them in the way you describe (let alone having an interest in following tags here anyway, let alone piping them elsewhere). Besides that, in general the considerations of other sites shouldn't have any influence on the tagging practices of this site at all. – TARS Jan 4 '16 at 21:19
  • 2
    @JasonBaker - not sure how it's actually used, but my impression was that book-vs-movies was meant to be used specifically for COMPARING two adaptations of the same "thing" across media. E.g. "which characters die in HP books but live in HP movies". I could be wrong. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:21
  • @TARS - I meant the user you probably think of, but only as an archetype of someone deeply interested in movies but ONLY movies, NOT books (as he very pithyly demonstrated in comments earlier today :) . I'm quite aware that A specific user like that may or may not be a proponent of wideband tags as a concept. As I said, I fit that archetype in reverse direction - I would deeply love a feed of all "Sff-only" content from MTV, if I could get one. The lack of that ability, now that I think about it, is another reason I'm far less active in asnswering on MTV . – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 4 '16 at 21:23
  • 3
    Whether or not one agrees with what's proposed in this answer, something DEFINITELY has to change with these tags. The [books] tag wiki says "Use this tag only to differentiate the book from the movie or other media.", which is absolutely NOT how the tag is used! – Rand al'Thor Mod Jan 4 '16 at 23:30
  • 2
    For story-identification I propose using identify-this-x (book, movie, TV series, comic), which scores better on the second criterion (can a question be tagged with just this tag). I remember reading a comment by @user14111 stating they were interested in identifying books, but not in id'ing movies. After we've done that, we can see how many questions remain that still need a movies, books and so on. – SQB Jan 5 '16 at 11:13
  • 1
    I have seen this scheme used to good effect on M&TV. I think it's clear these tags are too contentions to clean up in round one but I think this is a good suggestion to put on the table for later, perhaps a complete story-id-retagging drive. – KutuluMike Jan 5 '16 at 13:43
  • @MikeEdenfield It should probably be a separate answer, or even a separate question. – SQB Jan 5 '16 at 13:48
  • 1
    perhaps for story-idenfication we could make sub or syn tags like story-identification-movie story-identification-book story-identification-tv etc. That way we only use 1 tag for story ident and we still get to know the media used. – Jack B Nimble Jan 5 '16 at 14:41
  • -1. I stated my opinions in chat last week, but basically I think they are very useful as many of the questions on here will need to specify answers from a specific media, and I think the tag can be useful for this. – Dave Johnson Jan 5 '16 at 15:13

You must log in to answer this question.

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