The problem has been asked before, but under a slightly different conditions.

There are acronyms, that have multiple meanings based on the context, like for example in this question which can mean or . In such cases, the solution is quite simple - we can retag questionsso they are more specific and not use at all (mark it as "deprecated"). But in some cases, adding any additional information to the tag discards the actual justification of acronym usage in the first place.

Lets consider machine learning, it's common acronym is ml (or even more common ML). In the same time, on stack overflow we have which points to the

ML is a family of functional programming languages, created by the Turing awarded computer scientist Robin Milner. It was initially created as the metalanguage for a theorem prover (hence the name), but quickly became used as a general-purpose programming language. One of ML most famous characteristics is type inference supporting parametric polymorphism.

Of course we could create artificial tags like and , but using acronyms is justified by their simplicity, and I don't think that actuall anyone asking about machine learning would come up with tag (or ;)). I currently simply retag questions with in cotext of machine learning to , but I don't think it is isolated issue.

Is there an already developed way of dealing with such phenomen? Or is it too rare to be considered?

  • A technically feasible option would be to infer which of the specific tags it refers to based on the other tags used, but I don't think that would work too well in practice. (I.e. as well as synonyms you could have context sensitive synonyms). – Flexo Sep 14 '13 at 9:29
  • meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6928/… - and follow the links. Ambiguous tags are a problem, acronyms is just a special case. – Mat Sep 14 '13 at 9:32
  • 1
    Most all acronyms are initialisms, not all initialisms are acronyms – random Sep 14 '13 at 13:31

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