The tag synonym proposal system doesn't allow you to propose a synonym if the source tag has more instances than the target. I haven't seen the reasoning on that yet, but I think it's probably not a good restriction to have, as a majority of people typing a particular tag doesn't necessarily make it ideal. For example, somehow [word2007] took off and has several dozen more instances than [microsoft-word-2007], even though other cases like [word2003] don't even exist. More generically, [msword] is crushing [microsoft-word]. Why can't we add synonyms to make these go in the right direction?
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We can, we just post a retag request on the meta sites. This protection is in place to ensure that the most popular tags always take preference.
The tag synonym system is not a complete replacement to the retag requests, some cases need careful review by mods.
As I understand it, the system allows it if and only if a diamond moderator enter it, the reasoning being that changes where the source is common should be reviewed more carefully to the change is correct, because these are generally addressed via
Non-diamond moderators should probably file these requests on meta.
I have a couple suggestions for a better (?) system.
Possibly better rules: