The tag was recently added to a few questions:

These are in fact all of the questions that have this tag. The tag-info is also empty.

Should this tag be removed? I felt that it is unnecessary because it is too specific. (There are also no similar tags named after popular authors.) So, I removed it from the third question, which I had asked; but is there anything else that I can/should be doing regarding this?

This is my first post on Meta, and I would really appreciate the guidance of the community on this discussion.

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    $\begingroup$ I have a vague recollection that we have discussed the case for tags related to specific textbooks before. And decided that it is a bad idea. Anyway, I notified the probable creator and invited them here. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2018 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ This is relevant. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2018 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ The umbrella thread for discussing bad tags, new tags, old tags, whatnot may be better for this, but I'm not sure. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2018 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Thank you, that is definitive. Could you also tell me how the tag [hoffman-kunze] can be removed? Will posting it on the other thread bring it to the attention of the moderators? $\endgroup$
    – user279515
    Jan 2, 2018 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ As long as the number of questions using the tag is small, we can just edit it out, and the tag will disappear (there is a bit of lag). I guess I don't want to do that "unilaterally". Let's wait for a bit of feedback and a consensus to form before we act. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2018 at 12:39
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    $\begingroup$ Mo vote is "No, it's not necessary". $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2018 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ All 3 questions has been untagged (by 3 different users). $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Jan 2, 2018 at 14:16
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    $\begingroup$ These older post is also - to some extent - related: Is using subtags to identify book source appropriate for this site? $\endgroup$ Jan 3, 2018 at 8:21
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    $\begingroup$ No need of the tag. Better to just have linear-algebra tag for such questions. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    Jan 4, 2018 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ I noticed this thread only a few minutes ago. I was the one who put the [hoffman-kunze] tag to the three questions last week and those tags were removed by a moderator shortly afterwards. Now I'm fine with his decision and the community consensus, but I would like to know what in principle make book tags so different from software tags like gap, maple, mathematica, matlab or sagemath. $\endgroup$
    – user1551
    Jan 10, 2018 at 19:26

2 Answers 2


No, it is not necessary to have that tag.

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps adding a bit of reasoning would improve this answer. My thought is that the tag is for searching, and I suspect any Question concerning the book by Hoffman and Kunze will need to state the names, so that the proposed tag is essentially redundant. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Jan 2, 2018 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ @hardmath: The tags are also useful for filtering out topics you aren't interested in and highlighting questions in the topics you are interested in. I don't see how this particular tag helps that feature either, though. $\endgroup$
    – anomaly
    Jan 3, 2018 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @hardmath That argument applies to lots of tags -- for instance, fibonacci-numbers. $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2018 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ @FedericoPoloni: I should perhaps have made a less terse Comment. The searching by tags is not only manual searches, but includes the automated features by software to highlight Related questions (by matching tags) and as anomaly points out to search or suppress topics one likes or dislikes. If you have a "cottage industry" topic like Fibonacci numbers (or Robert Soupe's prime numbers), the value of grouping is substantial. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Jan 6, 2018 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ @hardmath Isn't this an argument in favor of a Hoffman and Kunze tag? A person who asks about an exercise in this book is likely to be interested in more exercises from the same source. $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2018 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @FedericoPoloni: You might be in a better position than I am to make such an argument, if you are a person interested in exercises (or more aptly, corrections) to that textbook, or if you wished to block it in the instance that the tag were extremely popular. I'm not in favor of the tag, but my Comment was a suggestion about how reasoning could be added to the conclusory remark posted by Zachary. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Jan 6, 2018 at 20:23

If it was a super-famous textbook, like the Liber Abaci... maybe.

But since it's not super-famous, it is necessary to include the citation when asking about it; if you don't, people will ask for it and probably downvote your question just for that.

In my opinion, the important thing is to have tags for the topics of the textbooks. So Hoffman-Kunze is about linear algebra, I take it? And we have the and tags, right? So there's no need for a Hoffman-Kunze tag. In my opinion.

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    $\begingroup$ Hoffman-Kunze is indeed a super famous linear algebra book. Probably more than the book you mentioned. But it's still unnecessary to have it as a tag. $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2018 at 10:31
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    $\begingroup$ @stressedout-gone- Hoffman-Kunze needs you to defend its fame a lot more than the Liber Abaci needs me to defend its fame. Maybe more people have read Hoffman-Kunze than Liber Abaci, but maybe the same could be said of New York Times bestsellers that have been turned into movies. $\endgroup$ Jan 6, 2018 at 20:56

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