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Asume the following search queries:
osx, cocoa, iphone, xcode, applescript, mac, carbon

Searching for osx, cocoa, iphone or xcode like:

 http://stackoverflow.com/search?q=osx

Results into searching by tag:

 http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/osx

While searching for applescript, mac and carbon like:

 http://stackoverflow.com/search?q=applescript

Results into searching by string.

Yes, I know how to search by tags using brackets: [applescript]
But why are the queries above interpreted differently?
All queries are valid Stack Overflow tags!
Why not convert all queries into search by string or search by tag?
What is the logic behind? Tag popularity? It seems rather inconsistent to me.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If a word is realized to be a tag which is among the top 60 tags for the site, search automatically converts it into a tag search instead of a search for that word.

You can override this functionality and search for the actual word by using quotes: "osx"

share|improve this answer
    
Using quotes and brackets during search was common to me, but I just liked to know what caused the inconsistency :) Thanks for your answer. –  Anne Sep 7 '12 at 23:30
    
Isn't it top 40 tags and not 60 as mentioned in your answer. Don't want to second guess you, maybe it was changed later but the blog says 40. –  Aziz Shaikh Aug 16 at 11:19
    
@AzizShaikh it's currently 60...that blog post is 5 years out of date. –  Nick Craver Aug 16 at 12:54

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