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I noticed a question the other day on SO which was tagged .

This is obviously a typo (in fact, they spelled it correctly in the question itself), so I edited the question to correct it, but since they were a very low-rep user, I asked myself how they managed to create the tag at all.

Turns out they didn't create it -- there's a handful of other questions with the same mis-spelled tag.

So my question is: how do we get rid of an obviously wrong tag like this?

I considered going to each question in turn and fixing the tag, but even for a relatively low number of questions that seemed like a bit of a drag. Plus it would mean they'd all suddenly appear on the front page, which is fine, except that some of them are quite old.

Also, I wasn't sure whether doing that would actually purge the tag from the database? Ideally, it wouldn't appear in the tag auto-complete any more, and another new user making the same typo would be unable to proceed.

If it's something I can do, then please tell me how. Otherwise, if it's something that needs moderator attention, then.... uh... consider yourselves notified. :-)

Oh, and by the way -- on the same topic, I notice that right here on Meta we have (7384 questions) and (1 question). Presumably that's another one that needs the same treatment. (and I definitely can't help here; I've still got quite low rep here on meta)

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This question should be tagged [speling] :) –  Zach Johnson Mar 14 '11 at 19:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For such a low number of instances (6) editing is definitely appropriate. If it gets over a dozen or so, then it's time to post a [retag-request] here on Meta and a moderator can look at it.

Once you remove a tag completely from the system, you'll notice that it does still appear in the database, just with zero entries. This is only temporary. Tags are cached, but a tag with zero entries will be purged in a day or so. As long as no one re-creates the tag in that time, it will disappear from the auto-suggest list.

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I was more than six when I started; I did edit a few, but had to stop (things to do, places to be, people to see, etc). It was probably on the border-line of your suggested limit. And thanks for clarifying what happens to dead tags. –  Spudley Mar 14 '11 at 19:21

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