Basically I decided to ask this on meta after I have seen this comment (emphasis mine):

It is not relevant (at least to me) how many synonyms a tag has. The only thing I'd like to avoid with this scheme is wrong tagging. Letting a tag sit around that has multiple, unrelated interpretations is simply bad. Do you have an alternative solution for that?

However, we have several tags which use as a name which has several meanings and usually tag-wiki says whether the tag should be used only for one/some of them.

For example and are (according to tag-wikis) used for several meanings of the word ideal/partition. (The ideals tag was discussed here, the partitions tag was discussed here.) Another example is , which is used both for connected topological space and connected graphs; here is link to tag-info.

We also have some case where a terms which has several meanings in mathematics is used as tag name, but the tag is used only for one of them. An example would be the tag , which is used for filters in the set-theoretical sense, but not for filters in signal processing. (See the tag-wiki and also the post on meta, which resulted in creation of this tag.)

I guess it would be possible to find more examples like that.

My personal opinion is that it is ok to have a tag which could (just based on the name of the tag) have several meanings, if the usage is clearly specified in the tag-excerpt and the tag-wiki. Cases which cause problems and incorrect tagging too often can be solved by renaming tag and even blacklisting it, if needed.

But I still would be glad to hear opinion of other users on this matter.

  • $\begingroup$ I now find it odd that no-one suggested filters-and-ultrafilters back then. Or integer-partitions. Either algebraic-ideals or ring-theoretic-ideals would appear to be fairly unambiguous, as are set-theoretic-ideals and lie-algebraic-ideals (okay, the last one might be somewhat clumsy). $\endgroup$ – user642796 Aug 28 '14 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer For (partition) the most likely reason is that the tag had already been in use for some time and the tag-wiki was created based on the questions using this tag. For (ideals), you and t.b. argued (and your comments received some upvotes) that various meaning are close enough to be under the same tag. In any case, these tags can be discussed in those threads or in chat, here they serve merely as examples. I wanted to ask about similar situations in general. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 28 '14 at 14:07

Just an idea but how about short delimiters on the tags such as or (rings and algebras) with the area of math at the end like the start of the tags on MO. Anything similar to this may be helpful however one issue to address would be new users getting confused about which ones to use. This could be solved with later edits and changes however this may be more hassle than it is worth.


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