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Looking down the list of questions for this tag, it seems really pointless. It's mostly things like:

[php][url][exists]
[sql][sql-server][exists]
[flex][component][exists]
[shell][directory][exists]

It's far too broad a term to be a tag.

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I agree it's a bit of horrible tag but exists is a keyword in SQL and IIRC Oracle & PHP? –  Barry Sep 1 '10 at 10:31
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@Barry: It probably is, but more often not the tag is used for the wrong reasons. Besides, we don't create a tag for every language keyword or construct out there, do we? Most tags that are functions of languages just get removed or retagged to the language they apply to. –  Andy E Sep 1 '10 at 10:49
    
don't get me wrong I completely agree with getting rid of it. However, I was just pointing out that it's a keyword and I would imagine as soon as you remove it someone will re-create it with a new question. (Probably relating to the SQL keyword exists) –  Barry Sep 1 '10 at 11:00
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@Barry: that's what tag blacklists are for :-) –  Andy E Sep 1 '10 at 11:09
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kerching! :) –  Barry Sep 1 '10 at 11:13
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2 Answers

While I don't know that I'd agree with banishing the tag, it's certainly the case that the tag is serving too many purposes right now. A good start might be to retag all the questions which aren't using it in a sensible/useful way (I think questions about an SQL keyword would count as relatively sensible on this metric; deal with the total ringers first).

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Normally I would say to apply the standard protocol for eliminating ambiguous tags, but in this case, the topics are essentially the same, "a keyword that checks for the existence of something." It isn't a situation where it's 2 or more really far-apart meanings.

While the tag can't stand alone, as you pointed out, that doesn't mean it isn't useful to have. It's the same situation as, say, [if-statement] -- you have to also specify a language to get the most useful questions and answers.

Looking through the first half page of questions, [exists] does need a little bit of cleanup (by retagging some of the questions with [existence]), but I don't think anything radical like elimination or blacklisting is necessary here.

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