7185 already has a somewhat colourful history here on Meta, having aleady been mentioned in two tag merge requests {1, 2}. It and its synonyms are being subjected to a set of far more terrifying problems, though. These can be identified merely by examining the Related Tags list:

  • 12 216 is , and #15 195 is , suggesting that synonyms and are not being used as much as they should be.

  • 5 750 is , and #20 135 is , barely scratching the surface of the misuse of the tag (the wiki says it's for replacing substrings).

  • 1 1899 is , suggesting that it spends a lot of time as a meta-tag.

And isn't it ambiguous! It's been seen on string replacement questions, regex questions, collection item replacement questions, file copying questions (this one bears , which is ringing alarm bells also), questions about which algorithm text editors use for find-and-replace (kill with fire!), and whatever the heck is going on here (why is that even tagged ?).

Something needs to be done. Given the extent of the misuse, it seems to be named in too generic a fashion, and I'd recommend burninating it. (I tend to recommend that a lot, though - take with a pinch of salt.)

There are tags named and that may also need some attention.

  • I second burnination. I would suggest also retagging, but that is 7,185 questions to retag, so I don't think I am prepared to suggest that. Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 4:27

1 Answer 1


I just went to a question and in the tags section typed "search"

"search-and-replace" did not show up in the set of auto-suggested tags. I had to type "search-" before it showed up.

I'm guessing that's why it isn't being used very often.

Oh... and I agree - it's ambiguous in meaning. Do we as-standard burninate ambiguous tags? If so - yay burninate!

  • It's also a synonym of replace, so it can't be used on new questions...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 4:36
  • hmmm... and we can't make replace a synonym of search-and-replace because the subset goes the other way around. So... remove the synonym-link perhaps?
    – Taryn East
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 4:37
  • I've said this somewhere before, but "replace" in itself implies searching. You can't replace something without finding something to replace first.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 4:38
  • @animuson In that case, the real problem is the number of questions tagged [search] [replace]. Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 4:54
  • @animuson - I kind of disagree. In most contexts yes, but in the context of jquery et al, replace is an equivalent of gsub - you are doing string-replace, but it's not generally referred-to as "search and replace"
    – Taryn East
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 5:34

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