The layman often thinks that is meant for anything solved using good logical thinking.
Many newcomers would think that fits any question involving sets of numbers.

Obviously other tags are misused by people unfamiliar with the mathematical concept they tag under.

Many times an advanced user will leave a comment, explaining the question is mistagged, and ask for clarification for the tag being used, and possibly retag as well.

Most of the newcoming users accept this understandingly. However, some may not.

How far should we insist on proper retagging? What proper course of action in case of a user rolling back, and insisting the question is not wrongfully tagged? Some of the time these questions and users are under heavy fire for badly posing the question (or it could be completely off topic to the site), these things only worsen the ability of the user to admit their own mistake and accept the retagging.

Even if closed, I do not think a question should be tagged improperly. Since retagging always bumps the question there is no point in retagged discarded and closed questions. Deletion might be good for some, but for other questions serve as a lantern for future discussions to refer to and need to be kept around. What do we do in this case?

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe this is heresy but couldn't one think about giving in? I mean: as far as I can tell the problem mainly concerns the tags you're listing here, so why not replace (elementary-set-theory) by (set-theory) and (set-theory) by (advanced-set-theory) [or something better]? Similarly, one could rename (logic) by (mathematical-logic) or (advanced-logic) and create a (logic) tag with the intention of basic logical reasoning. I'm aware that this is a somewhat ugly kludge, but maybe it would avoid quite a bit of tension. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Aug 6, 2011 at 12:22
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    $\begingroup$ "Most of the newcoming users accept this understandingly. However, some may not." If all you can say is some may not (as opposed to "some have not"), then I say, let's cross this bridge when we come to it. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2011 at 13:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Theo: I have seen misuse of [algebraic-geometry] as well. Should we perhaps call this [abstract-algebraic-geometry]? Either way, the people who tag under [set-theory] will think it is advanced if they don't know to begin with :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 6, 2011 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Gerry: I'm not sure what is the point you are trying to make. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 6, 2011 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf Isn't this so rare that it is a non-issue? After retagging and emphasizing in a comment the correct denotation of the tag, has anyone engaged in such a tag war? With the new tag completion it should almost never occur. $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2011 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Bill: I recall such a scenario to evolve into a flame war in the comments once. While rare, I would like to establish norms about "how far to pursue" this before setting a second flame war. While extremely rare, I believe that this issue needs to be addressed - at least on the principle level. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 6, 2011 at 18:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: Re: last comment: I suggest the following. Re-tag once and only once, leave a comment why you did so. If the OP decides to undo your re-tagging, ask why or simply let the matter rest. Wait a few days before trying to re-tag again. I see no harm that could ensue from a not quite appropriately tagged question that remains for a few days, while any kind of "war" (why use that exaggeration?) is just a waste of time and not worth it. Your comment will warn the other users that they shouldn't take action and simply confirm your views in a comment if they agree with you strongly enough. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Aug 7, 2011 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Theo: This seems like a reasonable suggestion. I will try to adopt this approach. As for "war", I don't think this is an exaggeration. I do recall an event this was an actual war with a comment span longer than the proof of the simple finite groups classification theorem, amidst the word "Bi*ch" or something was tossed around at some people, etc etc. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 7, 2011 at 5:50

1 Answer 1



See our new tag completion, which, crucially, shows the relevant tag wiki excerpt at the time of tag selection!

new tag completion support

So, make sure those tag wiki excerpts explain what the tag is for, and hopefully this can help guide new users toward seleting the correct tag.

(additional guidance on editing tag wikis and excerpts is available on the blog, too.)

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    $\begingroup$ Jeff, I appreciate you bringing this feature to the attention of the community. This, however, does not answer my question. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 6, 2011 at 10:36
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    $\begingroup$ er.. what? "tags are misused by people unfamiliar with the mathematical concept they tag under" is exactly what this feature is for. I'm not saying it is the magic bullet end-all be-all alpha and omega solution, but it is ~400 characters to educate users about what mathematical concept the tag represents and when it should be used $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2011 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ I agree. It is important and it helps educating people when choosing the tags. My question is talking about the case where people do not read, do not heed to the calls of the senior users (so to speak) and rollback retags. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 6, 2011 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ oh, I see -- well at least this can assist with step #1, not using the wrong tag in the first place :) $\endgroup$ Aug 6, 2011 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ Also: when a tag is clearly defined, there's less argument for its misuse. Also @Jeff: thanks for implementing this. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2011 at 15:45

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