Related: Should the tag (fractions) be a synonym of (rational-numbers)?

The tag is badly used. According to its description it is a synonym of . In practice it is used for any question involving fractions (usually very elementary questions that would belong to or at best ), not to say it has become worthless. I propose to

  1. Delete .

As a compensation - to make sure new users won't choose a tag randomly when they find out is non-existent - we might introduce

  1. , and/or (or simply ) as a synonym of (which already is a synonym of )
  2. for questions on how to 'simplify' e.g. $\frac1{1+\sqrt2}$.

After having deleted , we can either

4a. re-introduce and immediately make it a synonym of

4b. blacklist

4c. re-introduce and immediately make it a synonym of

What do you think of 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b, 4c?
Any other suggestions: new related tags to be introduced or alternatives of what to do after deleting ?

  • $\begingroup$ I think adding so many tags (irreducible, reduced, etc) for a tag with so few questions is just going to make it more cluttered. I think 4a is the best course of action. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ 1 + 4a has my preference. I was playing with the idea of 4b, but I think that decision would come back to us like a boomerang. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 16:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin: How will it come back to us like a boomerang? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf In the form of other, worse tagging attempts. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin: Unfortunately, worse tags do, and will, continue to happen. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I agree. Considering anyone over 1,000 rep can make there own tags, and the collection of bad tags already in existence, we need more of a spring cleaning than a spot check. $\endgroup$
    – Zach466920
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 20:44
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Zach: Maybe it's time to bump my old feature request. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


I will repeat the comment I made last time something like this was suggested:

having looked over some of the articles tagged fractions, I saw that many of them were concerned with manipulation of expressions of the form $\frac AB$, and had nothing at all to do with rational numbers.

If the tag description says that is synonymous with , that is erroneous, and it is the description that should be fixed, not the tag. Other than this, you have not articulated any problem that you are trying to solve, so I have no specific criticism of your proposal, just the general criticism that it appears to be a waste of everyone's time.

Fractions are a legitimate subject of mathematics. Some questions are undeniably about fractions. There is no reason not to tag them as such. Tags need not form a perfect hierarchy. Just the opposite in fact: it's useful to have tags that cut across the hierarchy to allow for more specific searching.

I have updated the tag wiki:

Fractions are distinct from rational numbers because they are a representation: $\frac 34$ and $\frac{30}{40}$ are different fractions that happen to represent the same rational number. Questions about fractions may also also include algebraic expressions of the form $\frac pq$, continued fractions, arithmetic with fractions, operations on rational functions, the field of quotients of a ring, and possibly even certain questions about Legendre series or Möbius transformations.

and the short summary (“excerpt”):

Questions on fractions, which are expressions (not values) of the form $\frac pq$.

If anyone else would like to polish or amend this, here is the link.


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