The tagging system has an option for suggesting a synonym, which is sort of a "soft merge" between two tags. It turns everything in one tag, to be named as another tag.

Is there some [semi-]official guide as to how synonyms work? More specifically, how do I know which tag is going to be swallowed into the other?

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    $\begingroup$ It's not really a soft merge, the old tag (now the synonym) still exists. But when you search for it or when you try to add it to a new question, the target tag will be used instead. When moderators create a synonym, they have the choice to do a real merge at the same time. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Aug 30 '14 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ To add: moderators can, at any time, approve a pending synonym suggestion, merge a slave synonym into its master, or delete a synonym altogether. (The last is more useful when two tags are made synonyms but not merged.) $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Sep 1 '14 at 7:58

More specifically, how do I know which tag is going to be swallowed into the other?

According to Tag synonyms: which is the master one? at meta.SE, if you suggest a synonym on the page of some tag, it will become master.

For example, if you suggest a synonym in this dialog, then will be the master tag.

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Another useful link about tag-synonyms if the faq post: What are tag synonyms and merged tags? How do they work?

  • $\begingroup$ In my opinion, the choice of master tag makes sense, since you need at least a few upvotes in the tag, if you want suggest a synonym. So it is more probable that you will be suggesting a synonym on the page of the tag which has more questions (more chance to receive upvotes); and tag with more questions is also more probable to be the master. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 30 '14 at 12:45

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