Originally, I was just going to start deleting the tag from questions. There's only 19 of them tagged with it, and it seemed very meta-like looking at those questions. Then I saw that also exists, standing a bit stronger with 97 questions.

Should these two tags be merged together or should they just be removed?

  • Hrm... "Curly Braces" is a bit redundant, but the tag seems OK. "Curly brackets" is an oxymoron. Suggest we synonymize and merge curly-brackets.
    – user102937
    Feb 10 '12 at 0:03
  • 3
    On the other hand, the Wikipedia article neatly summarizes all such punctuation under the banner "Brackets." Perhaps we should do the same.
    – user102937
    Feb 10 '12 at 0:15
  • Go @Robert, doing all that research no one else thought to actually do.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Feb 10 '12 at 0:30
  • @RobertHarvey Can you explain what you mean by "the tag seems ok"? I doesn't provide a useful classification, IMO, even in conjunction with language tags.
    – user154510
    Feb 10 '12 at 0:42
  • @MatthewRead: Looking at the first 20 or so questions in the [curly-braces] tag, the question title actually includes the words, "curly braces," which means that the question itself pertains directly to the tag. It's hard to imagine categorizing such a question without actually having a [curly-braces] tag.
    – user102937
    Feb 10 '12 at 0:45
  • @RobertHarvey You totally lost me with that. Not every noun used in titles should be a tag. I don't see any tagged with only that tag, so what purpose is it actually serving? No one's following the tag. Duplicating words used in the question isn't the function of a tag either.
    – user154510
    Feb 10 '12 at 1:09
  • 5
    Personally, I refer to () as parentheses, [] as brackets, and {} as braces -- but that usage is not universal, and may be specific to US English. UK English tends to use different terms, but I'm too lazy to look up the details. Adding "square" or "curly" is a good way to disambiguate. (This doesn't address the question of whether these tags are necessary.) Feb 10 '12 at 1:15
  • 1
    The only argument I could possibly see in favor of these tags is that they make punctuation possible to search for. That's not enough, though. Nuke'em!
    – Charles
    Feb 10 '12 at 3:54
  • 1
    How about just [curlies]?
    – user142148
    Mar 23 '12 at 22:18

It seems to me that at least the vast majority of (or ) questions are just questions. The same goes for or .

A small number of these questions are instead asking about searching for or matching against the particular tagged character type, but is that level of detail really useful as a tag? (Personally, I only read questions about curvy punctuation.)

  • Agreed wholeheartedly.
    – user154510
    Feb 10 '12 at 1:13

Why not just nuke 'em? Why would we even need a tag for these? That's like having a tag called [capital-letters] or some other nonsense.

I remember hearing Jeff mention something like the following a number of times when it comes to keeping tags around; Is this a tag that people can be "experts" about? Is this a tag that people would be searching for or otherwise mark as a favorited tag?

These two tags fail on all accounts.

I say burn them.

  • 4
    There goes my hope of achieving the Gold Badge for [semicolon] (my major in college)...
    – user159834
    Mar 23 '12 at 22:44

I'd say merge all derivatives of parentheses, brackets and braces, make the primary tag and the rest synonyms. Including:

x 113 × 36 × 21 × 3
× 105 × 39
× 90 × 26

Why ?
As @Robert mentioned in his comment, that's what Wikipedia went with to summarize the topic. I would stick with that. All of them together carry enough weight to make a useful tag to search for. Mostly syntax-related, I'd expect.


Punctuation is hard to search for, hence tags for punctuation characters are very useful in searches. I think we should have one tag per character or matching pair:

Disambiguate then blacklist it.

  • I'm not so sure we should be catering to people who would want to search for these terms. How many questions can there possibly be on [angle-brackets]? How useful would that be, really? If someone is searching on how to use the semicolon with the search term ;, frankly, they should be reading a book before they even attempt to move forward. Jun 17 '12 at 6:24
  • @JeffMercado Some languages have very quirky parsing rules. I used to be against punctuation tags, but then I had a look through them, and there are decent questions in there. Basic, yes, but everyone has to start somewhere. Jun 17 '12 at 15:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .