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When I search for questions tagged with the C programming language, I get this. It only works if I search [c] instead. Searching directly works with other languages, like C++, C#, Java etc. What's the problem?

Since I have a hunch that it's probably just some stupidity of mine, I better not tag it as a .

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It's probably because c is only one character. – Rocket Hazmat Apr 12 '12 at 17:54
Luckily, the stackoverflow team implemented tags. – Toon Krijthe Apr 12 '12 at 17:56
a bug ... we should fix it – waffles Apr 20 '12 at 3:03

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

You can't search for single characters (try "a", for example) — it just redirects you to the search help page.

It probably is a bug, still. Search terms that correspond to a top 40 tag are supposed to be treated as a tag automatically. My guess is the length check is performed before the tag conversion is done.

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Think about it for a minute.

If I search for "a" I'm going to get nearly every post on SO. If I search for "c" same thing. Using [c] narrows the search to the c tag.

If I search for a++ I'm not getting anything as its not a common letter, but if I search for c++ I'll get any post with "c++" in the body. (sure c++ redirects you to the tag search, but a single c is more likely to be a mishit enter key)

Searching for a single letter is useless, even if that letter means something in this context.

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Searching for 'java' will find all posts tagged 'java'. stackoverflow.com/search?q=java – Rocket Hazmat Apr 12 '12 at 17:55
@rocket see parenthetical – wax eagle Apr 12 '12 at 17:56
Ah, yes. Silly me, you did mention that. – Rocket Hazmat Apr 12 '12 at 17:57
@Rocket I was probably adding it while you were typing :) – wax eagle Apr 12 '12 at 17:57

Single character searches are now supported, there are some mathematical symbols and cases like c on Stack Overflow that make sense to support and we are technically able to now...so it's enabled. Note that "a" is a stop word, so it's a bad test :)

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