The tags (23 questions) and (26 questions) both seem to have roughly the same meaning: they're both for questions about where an SF/F author's ideas came from, what influenced or inspired them to write the things they did. Examples:

Shall we synonymise and merge these tags?

They also bear some similarity to the tag (now synonymised with the tag), but I think the latter is different enough not to be synonymised: it's more about the history of the genre as a whole, e.g. "where did X first appear in science fiction literature?", whereas the / tags are more about the history of a specific idea, e.g. "where did author X get this idea?" (Admittedly the tag wikis should be edited to make this clear [hint hint] ...)

Note: PLEASE DO NOT start editing the tags on these questions manually before a consensus is reached here. The community has expressed their disapproval of multiple tag edits cluttering up the front page, and it's entirely unnecessary in this case: if we do agree to merge these tags, we can do the retagging automatically without bumping any questions at all.

  • 1
    Can't we just suggest synonyms as part of a privilege? Or does it have to go through meta?
    – user31178
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:02
  • 4
    @CreationEdge Anyone with more than 2500 rep and a score of more than 5 in the tag can suggest a synonym for others to vote on, but nobody else will notice it on this page tucked away secretly unless they advertise it on meta. Also, there's no way for a mod to do that without pushing the synonym straight through. Meta is the only place I've got to suggest a synonym and let others have a say.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:05
  • This says completed, but why does influences show only 2 questions and inspiration shows 60? Shouldn't they be the same now?
    – user31178
    Mar 1, 2016 at 20:27
  • @CreationEdge See SQB's answer. I merged the two tags without synonymising (so all the questions that were tagged with influences are now tagged with inspiration), and then SQB made a new influences tag with a different meaning.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 1, 2016 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


Yes, synonymize them.

There is, as you said, almost zero difference between them - they're just two different words.

should be the one that goes, as it seems to have a slightly smaller scope than .

  • Which one should remain, and which one should be mapped to it?
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:34
  • @randal'thor edited.
    – Mithical
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:43
  • @CreationEdge This was already resolved over a year ago. We still have both tags, but now they have clearly separate meanings and usages, as reflected in the tag wikis.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    May 26, 2017 at 22:37

We are now using for questions about where authors got their inspiration, while using on questions about the real world being influenced by SF&F works.

An example of the latter would be the waterbed that couldn't be patented because Heinlein had already described it in Double Star.

This change took place after the initial versions of the tags were merged.

  • 3
    That's certainly a valid idea, but it's not how the tags are used at the moment. If we're going to do this, we'd have to merge influences with inspiration (without synonymising) and then start using the influences tag with its new meaning.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:37
  • I just merged influences with inspiration, without synonymising. Feel free to start reinventing the influences tag with a different meaning.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Feb 28, 2016 at 16:11
  • @randal'thor Thank you.
    – SQB
    Feb 28, 2016 at 17:02
  • @randal'thor see the new influences tag.
    – SQB
    Feb 28, 2016 at 17:55
  • Nice! Here's a couple more questions that could (possibly - see what you think) be given that tag: one, two.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Feb 28, 2016 at 18:04
  • @randal'thor First one, inspiration is okay, since the question is about inspiration for works of SF&F. Second one, possibly.
    – SQB
    Feb 28, 2016 at 20:33

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