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I was scanning the tag list for Mathematics, there are loads that have never been used and probably never will be. Can anyone nominate a tag for burnination, is there procedure to follow, and who decides a tag's fate?

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you give at least one example of a tag which has never been used and is in the tag list? (I highly doubt that there are loads of such tags, as you wrote.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 5 '15 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ From page 31 onwards. We have 'protomodular-categories', 'gronwall inequality', 'carnot-groups', 'convex order' all with nothing in and this is just the beginning. $\endgroup$ – JMP Feb 5 '15 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ To add a link for other users, you probably mean page 31 when the tags are ordered by popularity, right? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 5 '15 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ About the examples you listed: (carnot-groups) contains 1 question. (convex-order) contains 1 question. (gronwall-inequality)contains 1 question and it has a separate post on meta. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 5 '15 at 15:53
  • $\begingroup$ Some details on tag pruning: A tag which only contains 1 question is automatically removed after 6 months. A tag with no questions is automatically deleted after 24 hours. Some links to more details about tag pruning can be found here. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 5 '15 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ Well this is what this post and the meta site is supposed to be discussing. In my opinion 1 question doesn't warrant a tag. But this is supposed to be the debate. $\endgroup$ – JMP Feb 5 '15 at 15:55
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    $\begingroup$ If you want to suggest some tag for removal, you can do so in this thread or you can discuss it in the tagging chat room. (But it is much less active than it used to be.) Or you could simply go ahead and remove the tag from all posts containing the tag. As already mentioned, it will be removed during next 24 hours. (But I would not advise this approach with the exception of a clear cut cases.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 5 '15 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ I will also add that number of questions definitely should not be used as the only criterion when judging whether some tag is useful or not. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Feb 5 '15 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ Just an FYI, right now everything on pages 32--36 (and the last tag of page 31, propositional-logic) are actually tag synonyms... Funny you should choose that number. $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Feb 5 '15 at 16:38
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From the sound of it, you're talking about tag synonyms, which will never have any questions by-design! They exist to guide taggers to use canonical tags, and the system automatically replaces them with the tag they're synonymized with whenever they're used.

Beyond that, unused tags are deleted every day. Tags used on only a single question are removed 6 months after their creation, unless someone has taken the time to write a tag wiki.

For all other tags, they can be removed by following the instructions here: When to burninate

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A tag should be removed when it's being harmful: when allowing the tag to be applied to questions results in weaker classification of questions. A recently killed example of such a tag is . An example that's still alive is . These are problematic, because people use them instead of picking another tag that would unambiguously describe the subject of their question.

On the other hand, low-use tags are rarely a problem.

  1. If a tag indeed is not in use, it will be automatically deleted with no action on your part.
  2. If "probably never will be" used is a pure guess on your part, that's not a reason to remove the tag.

I was going to link to Shog9's answer on Meta.SE, but now that he already did that, I'll just quote two points for emphasis.

don't bother with this [retagging to kill a tag] unless you have full editing rights.

If it looks like pointless busywork, it probably is pointless busywork.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this one: youtube.com/watch?v=b4bYDxbVIKE $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Feb 5 '15 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ @WillJagy Master Troll. $\endgroup$ – Git Gud Feb 5 '15 at 22:03
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    $\begingroup$ @GitGud, well, yes, but Famous Blue Raincoat is a song by Leonard Cohen, and I really do like the song in the video. His most respected song, surely, is Hallelujah, but best known in the U.S. were some early songs covered by by Judy Collins, Joan Baez, others. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallelujah_%28Leonard_Cohen_song%29 $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Feb 5 '15 at 22:09

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