This question was triggered by this edit but has been bothering me for a long time.

We have many tags without or with a very poor description. We had retag weekends. I think it is also useful to generate a list of tags with no description (and which are not aliased) and to either mark these for deletion or put them on a TODO-list.

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    Obligatory xkcd imgs.xkcd.com/comics/standards.png
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Feb 3, 2016 at 11:07
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    I agree but just wanted to say the title of this thread sounds like a “Seinfeld” quote. Feb 3, 2016 at 20:20
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    Given the massive number without descriptions, it would be useful to prioritize. Only a fraction of these are misused due to multiple meanings. People are always free to edit the tags when they find them, but that's not an organized effort to identify candidates and get the job done. Perhaps we could have people add problematically ambiguous tags to a list on Meta, like we do with the manufacturer meta tags. That would provide fertile ground for any tag writers who want to attack the problem in a useful way.
    – fixer1234
    Feb 3, 2016 at 21:14
  • @fixer1234 That's a good idea. Maybe find a couple and post them in a community-wiki answer to get the party started.
    – Excellll
    Feb 5, 2016 at 16:13
  • @Excellll, I started the exercise, but the high-priority tags are the ones that are ambiguous and being used inconsistently. We can't solve that just writing a description; tag cleanup is required, and that needs an individual cleanup request. That leaves the question of how to identify the highest priority tags that only require a description.
    – fixer1234
    Feb 6, 2016 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


For those interested, here's a query which lists all tags which don't have a description


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    @BlacklightShining it's the answer to I think it is also useful to generate a list of tags with no description
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Feb 11, 2016 at 16:21

In few words: less work, doubts and backward compatibility.

Personally I strongly support the proposal to write a description for each tag: it will avoid loss of time later when it will be needed to retag the questions and speed up the process to select a tag for the OP. I think that it can be proper to order the list by the number of new questions in the last 12 months.

At the same time I would avoid to delete tags used more than really few times: instead it's possible to make them synonym of the master tag and eventually to change the excerpt of the deprecated one.

This because when synonyms it happens that

Tag synonyms are replaced by the respective master tag on almost every occasion, e.g., when you search for a tag, try to apply a tag to a question or follow a link to the tag.

but it will ensure that, for example, each research made once with the deprecated tag will give again in its results the posts that were reported before (in addition to all the new ones relative to the master tag).

All uses of the synonym tag for any given master tag are automatically converted to the master tag.

Moreover did we consider what will it happens to the followers of a specific tag when it is deleted?

Ps> Sorry for late joining

  • The follower get a NULL pointer reference and SE crashes? ;-)
    – Hennes
    Feb 15, 2016 at 13:45
  • @Hennes Hmmm I see something similar to this one... :-)
    – Hastur
    Feb 15, 2016 at 14:15
  • OT: Opss or I can try this one too
    – Hastur
    Feb 15, 2016 at 14:26

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