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On meta, is already synonymized with , which is basically the exact same thing as . So it only makes sense that the third be merged into the first as well.

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Retagging is a pain, but is doable by almost any user. Synonym request is a whole other beastie and it's nearly impossible. Time after time, no ordinary user can even make the synonym because no one has both the required base rep and at least a 5 score on the tag. (Even if 1 or 2 users do, the odds that they care enough to make the synonym must be very tiny -- as proved in practice.) The synonym system is very broken, but it is not the same as a retag request. –  Awesome Poodles Feb 6 '12 at 21:42
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@Brock: According to the tag wiki: Note that the moderator capacity of merging tags is simply an extended application of retagging, and thus requesting that one tag be merged into another is simply a different flavor of retag-request. Synonymizing tags is basically the equivalent of merging them. Not to mention, [retag-request] is already used for flat-out synonym requests anyways. –  animuson Feb 6 '12 at 21:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Looking at the last 10 retag request that were completed but did not contain the synonym request tag, 8 resulted in a synonym (3 of which had synonym in the title) and 2 did not. The two that didn't asked about whether it should be synonym request as well.

This leads me to believe that most people expect that if their request is granted it will also be blessed with a synonym, and even though the mechanisms are different I think the subtlety is usually lost on the people making the request.

Furthermore why would one make such a request? Its like going "Hey there's a weird state with out data, but lets leave it so the weird state can be re-introduced!"

Resulted in a synonym

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/136581/merge-the-tags-media-query-and-media-queries

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135014/make-ruby1-9-a-synonym-of-ruby-1-9

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135008/make-terminals-a-synonym-of-terminal

How to rename Tag elastic-search to elasticsearch?

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/134111/merge-keyvalue-with-key-value

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/133169/merge-and-synonymize-aosp-and-android-source-tags

Merge [mapview] into [android-mapview]

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/131745/merge-pen-testing-and-penetration-testing

Did not result in a synonym

Merge all questions tagged by [google] and [earth] into [google-earth]

Should we make [strongly-typed] a synonym of [strong-typing]?

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As Brock points out in the question's comments, there seems to be a fundamental reason for having two separate tags. While implementation-wise merging tags may well be 'simply a different flavor of retag-request' (tag-wiki), in practice there are entirely different social processes involved when creating synonyms and when retagging.

If many people are using [retag-request] when they actually mean to request a [synonym-request], then we could perhaps raise another question: How do we encourage people to use the appropriate tags when retagging and synonimizing tags? I would start by including some of what Brock mentioned in the tag wiki.

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