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The question here seems to be tagged with , which, last I checked, is a synonym of . How is it possible that a question can be tagged with a synonym? Don't synonyms automatically get replaced on questions?

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The question was most probably tagged with close before it became a synonym. – Oded Nov 6 '13 at 17:40
@Oded I once filed a synonym request, and the offending question was automatically retagged. – user215114 Nov 6 '13 at 17:40
Was the question edited after the synonym was created? Or possibly simply retagged? – Oded Nov 6 '13 at 17:41
@Oded Look at the revisions for this question. When I added in the tag java-web-start, I actually added two tags, that and webstart. However, the tags were merged, and there is no trace of the old tag. Why is there a discrepancy here as to what happens in such a case? – user215114 Nov 6 '13 at 17:45
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Creating a synonym does not ever cause an automatic merging of the questions. All it does is remap future occurrences of the tag to the master tag.

When I created that synonym relationship, I didn't bother merging them for whatever reason. That means any questions that were already tagged with kept that tag. If the post gets further edited, or a tag merge takes place, the tag will be automatically remapled at that point. Until then, it keeps the original tag.

Tag merges are not automated because it helps fix mistakes. If we just create a synonym that shouldn't have been created, we can easily delete the synonym and all the questions which previously had the tag will have it once again. Once a merge is done, that process is incredibly tedious, as it has to be done manually.

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What about in my case? – user215114 Nov 6 '13 at 18:39
What about it? That question was asked long ago, and the synonym was only recently created. Unless you're referring to something else? – animuson Nov 6 '13 at 18:41
I'm referring to the question linked in the last comment on this question. – user215114 Nov 6 '13 at 18:41
When a tag merge takes place, it doesn't create new revisions for all the questions that had the tag. It simply replaces all occurrences of the old tag with the new tag. In cases where the new tag already exists, it just removes the old tag. – animuson Nov 6 '13 at 18:44
So, did a merge take place in that situation? Or did the system remove the old tag automatically to prevent the question from being tagged with the same thing twice? – user215114 Nov 6 '13 at 18:45
It depends on when you did the retag. If the synonym already existed, then the tag would have been remapped to the master tag and it would be removed as a duplicate tag. – animuson Nov 6 '13 at 18:47

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