I believe is a meta tag for Stack Overflow with 161 posts. Should it be burninated as the tag can’t work as the only tag on any post?

  • 13
    I'm ambiguous about this request... I now feel better, and a little ashamed of myself... Mar 20, 2013 at 14:31
  • 1
    I'd disambiguate this as an explicit burnination-request. As it currently stand's, it looks too much like a question to which the answer could be "no". Mar 20, 2013 at 14:37
  • 1
    I'm ambiguous about the tag; when using AI techniques, you'll have to deal with ambiguity and I can see that for such questions the tag has a place. The tag is overused, though, but I don't see the need to burniate it indiscriminately. Mar 20, 2013 at 14:40
  • Withholding my +1 for the lack of Trogdor. (Not really!) Mar 20, 2013 at 14:41
  • I see dead people. Wait, wrong website...
    – casperOne
    Mar 20, 2013 at 15:10
  • 1
    I would throw ambiguous in there as well, and maybe even ambiguous-call Mar 20, 2013 at 16:48
  • @RichardJ.RossIII: well, I wouldn't call ambiguous-call all that ambiguous. Mar 21, 2013 at 9:18

5 Answers 5


The fact that a question has the tag doesn't tell anyone anything. And since you can't possibly be an expert at ambiguous questions, nobody is going to follow that tag (well, except one). It should be removed.

Or, if there is a particular use case in which the tag will make sense (e.g. in AI techniques), then the tag wiki should reflect that very clearly and all questions that are not about that topic should have their tag removed.

  • 1
    Speak for yourself; I'm an expert at ambiguous questions. Mar 20, 2013 at 16:07
  • Im not sure if I'm an expert in ambiguous questions - its not entirely clear to me if I am or not, its kind of....
    – Jamiec
    Mar 20, 2013 at 16:08

At first it seems is itself an ambiguous tag.

It seems like tagging something with .

But actually it's not like that. Ambiguity is, dictionary: "uncertainty or inexactness" -- in code ambiguity is the name of a specific problem where things are inexact or imprecise. The tag is all about this problem.

That said, it isn't that useful a tag, imo


Ambiguity is a term used a lot in Natural Language Processing.

I would make sure the tag, is on the relevant questions, then burn .

  • 1
    word-sense-disambiguation is more confusing than ambiguity IMO. Mar 20, 2013 at 16:45
  • 1
    @RichardJ.RossIII, It may not always be used right, but it is a precise technical term. Mar 20, 2013 at 16:50
  • 1
    @RichardJ.RossIII: more confusing? probably only if you're not into that area (NLP). But it's definitely more specific and therefore more tag-worthy. It's not a meta-tag. Mar 21, 2013 at 9:19

I think burnination is overkill in this situation. could be used as a meta tag, but I don't think it always is used that way in practice. Seems to me that it would be valid on a question like

I need to implement a solution for the ISO-2410593813513 spec, which says that all bars must be fooed when baz is not null. I'm running into cases where baz is null, and the spec doesn't address that. What do I do now?

In other words, it's a meta tag if you use it to mean "this question is ambiguous," but it's okay if you're asking about ambiguity elsewhere.

If you want to make the claim that people are using the tag improperly, then okay, but burnination isn't the solution to that problem.

  • 6
    It's hard to see how [ambiguity] could stand on it's own as a question categorization, or whether anyone would actually follow such a tag.
    – user102937
    Mar 20, 2013 at 15:07
  • 1
    Actually your example question is better tagged as Undefined specification. That would pun-intended give better clarity to the categorization of your question than ambiguity. Mar 20, 2013 at 15:52

Can't think of any case where there's not a better tag.

In the case of understanding specifications. Undefined specification.

In the case of method declarations. Compiler error

In the case of code being ambiguous, no tag is necessary, there should already be existing tags.

So, I can't find a case where another tag would make the Ambiguity tag less Ambiguous (lololol).

I think this is a case of people wanting to add search terms to the question to pick up more hits, when tags are really meant for categorization, not searching. The difference being that search terms could get way more precise than categorizations, to the point that they're not useful for the purpose of following the tag. It's better to put these things into the title instead.

For example:

  • Wrong: What does this C# code do?
  • Right: Ambiguous code attempting network connection.

Even so, I can't think of someone including "Ambiguity" in their search.

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