Over the last couple of weeks I've been quietly waging war on the tag.

is one of those troublesome tags that is highly ambiguous on it's own, and needs to be replaced with several other more specific tags. I've re-tagged all 200+ questions that made use of , with almost all of them falling into one of these three camps:

  • (questions pertaining to unit testing of code)
  • (questions pertaining to height, weight, distance, and the like)
  • (the small quantity of questions pertaining to the unit type concept used in functional programming). For this one, I've added the unit-type tag and a starter-for-ten tag wiki.

The vast majority of these re-tags were of questions that had been tagged and instead of .

It's all done now and at time of writing there are zero questions tagged with .

Request: please can we now blacklist ?

  • There are no sensible tag synonyms for this ambiguous tag.
  • It keeps coming back (I've dealt with a trickle of new questions tagged ), all of the recent ones being examples of where users have typed "unit testing" into the tags list when they mean "unit-testing".
  • The tag wiki for this tag has contained a "Please don't use this tag" message since October, but new questions using it are still popping up.

EDIT: The tag has since been removed (presumably by the automated job that removes tags which are no longer in use), so I'll be keeping an eye on it to see if it comes back on unit testing questions as . If it does, then I'd suggest this is ample evidence that it deserves a space on the blacklist.

FURTHER EDIT 15/12/11: The tag has not yet come back from the dead - hurrah! - possibly because typing "unit" into the tag field in the ask-a-question page now results in appearing as the first result. Perhaps a blacklist of the unit tag is not required: merely purging it seems to have been effective. I'll keep an eye on it for a bit longer...

FURTHER EDIT 22/12/11 The tag still hasn't reappeared! Time to answer my own question in the negative. And also title to "Should we blacklist..."

  • Obligatory xkcd link... Aw, never mind.
    – user102937
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 19:06
  • 4
    @Robert There's always room for an xkcd link!
    – razlebe
    Commented Dec 6, 2011 at 20:03
  • It reappeared this evening. It has since been redisappeared.
    – Charles
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 6:29
  • @Charles Thanks - yes, I've spotted it once before now too. But on both occasions the tag has been quickly re-tagged into oblivion by the community. That being the case, I still don't think a blacklisting is necessary. Though by all means, go ahead and post a counter-argument to my post below if you think differently.
    – razlebe
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


NO - we shouldn't blacklist the tag, because the act of purging it appears to have been effective in disincentivising it's use. I haven't spotted any new questions since the last of them was retagged. A blacklisting would therefore be redundant.

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