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Both have a description which point to the same concept.

Should the be merged? Synonyms?

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Thinking for the long term, they can't really be synonyms. Personally I don't like - while a SQL practitioner may know exactly what it is (and it is a technically correct term), there is nothing to stop facebook questions using it mistakenly. And what's to prevent LINQ questions using it? When this happens you end up in the same place as what you were with just the like tag.

There are enough different usages of like for it to be necessary to use tags like sql-like for disambiguation. In a lot of ways it is very similar to the group tag - it has a bunch of uses.

To prevent this becoming the same old mess just with a different tag, I would suggest that like-operator is synonymed to sql-like, and sql-like becomes the chosen tag to use for SQL related questions. As mentioned in my comment, having the context prepended on the front of the like tag makes it easily understandable by everybody - there are a lot of people out there who don't think too much when choosing their tags.

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    There are 0 questions at the cross-section of facebook and like-operator (combined tags link). It's not because something can potentially be misused that it isn't the right thing to use. The swarm (a.k.a. Facebook question askers) will keep using like until we make it something else, if we do.
    – MPelletier
    Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 5:09
  • As for LINQ, it's a good point, but there isn't a direct LIKE in LINQ, AFAIK. If I had a LINQ question regarding LIKE, I wouldn't find it that much of a stretch to use like-operator, if the goal is to emulate its functionality.
    – MPelletier
    Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 5:13
  • @MPelletier My point is that while like-operator is not incorrect, if this becomes the chosen one you will eventually end up in the same place: different tag, same mess. With the technology/stack/context prepended on the front everybody can easily understand which one to use. Overall though you have a good point, there is clean up required.
    – slugster
    Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 5:15

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