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I recently noticed there were three questions with and two with . I removed the former (as we already blacklisted its singular form), and the latter and replaced it by .

But the two questions tagged with both these, are also tagged with , which I can't find a suitable replacement. There are currently four questions tagged with this tag, and it's best if we contain the problem before it becomes a 100+ questions tag.

Should we remove this one? It seems a bit too general to me, as it can house both questions fitting about roots and whatnot; and questions from (and in particular) about radical of ideals.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you expand on why it is too general? (FWIW, in the roots tag it is suggested that questions about finding radicals go under arithmetic, but I am not sure if that's the best course for the questions currently tagged as "radicals".) $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Aug 20 '13 at 0:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: Questions about $\sqrt[n]{x_1+\ldots+x_n}$ from probably algebra pre-calculus; and $\sqrt{J}$ from ring theory and whatnot. One of the hallmarks of a bad tag, in my opinion, is when its name is somewhat specific (like "radicals", but unlike "terminology" or "notation") and it can be easily assigned to questions from very different fields of mathematics. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Aug 20 '13 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ My first comment is a (too subtle?) hint for you to edit your original post. (Yes, I had a good guess what you meant, but for the sake of other users it would be good for you to make your argument crystal clear.) $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Aug 20 '13 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie: It's late, and I had a long day today and I have a long day tomorrow. Oh, look at that... four hours of sleep left! Yeah, I guess it was too subtle. :-) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Aug 20 '13 at 0:42
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    $\begingroup$ A good question, and I agree that it is a bad tag. I have seen many people use the word surd when talking about formulas where extracting a root of a number plays a role. OTOH, I haven't seen that word in the context of ring-theoretic radical (or the radicals of symplectic forms, or whatnot). I may be mistaken, but I think (from TeXbook?) that the word 'surd' means just the symbol $\sqrt{\hphantom{A}}$. If this needs a tag at all (I'm not sure it does), then 'surd' might be less ambiguous for the listed reasons. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Aug 20 '13 at 11:11
  • $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Could you provide a reference that uses that term? I have never seen that word before (except as part of the word absurd). $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Aug 20 '13 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Tobias: Here's what Merriam Webster can say. And here is a local example. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Aug 20 '13 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ Pete L. Clark implies there that the term is old-fashioned. I believe him, but am unable to either confirm or refute that. In this case the term might not be recognizable by the people who have problems tagging correctly, and thus it may be a bad idea. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Aug 20 '13 at 12:00
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    $\begingroup$ @TobiasKildetoft The term was particularly common in 19th and early 20th century texts. See page 274 of this for example. Google ngrams produces a really interesting chart on this, actually! I see the term burble up now and then, often in the writing of foreign speakers. $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Aug 20 '13 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Jyrki: I'm glad you believe me because I wouldn't know how to convincingly confirm/refute any kind of claim like that. To everyone else: how about a [new-radicals] tag? "Cloning while they're multiplying / Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson / Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson..." Good stuff. $\endgroup$ – Pete L. Clark Sep 2 '13 at 1:34

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