Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

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 .

share|improve this question
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
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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer
Searching for 'java' will find all posts tagged '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 it's enabled. Note that "a" is a stop word, so it's a bad test :)

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .