I realize that tags

  • help to categorize and organize questions
  • have "short" and "long" (my words) definitions, descriptions or discussions

Both are great qualities and yet there seems to be an overall emphasis or policy towards using existing tags rather than adding new ones.

I believe a comprehensive set of tags, along with their definitions, descriptions or discussions, constitutes a very useful knowledge-base on its own, and may even render certain questions unnecessary.

So, why not expand the role of the tag system to become a glossary?

How many times have you seen a question that could have been answered simply by browsing some tags?

If there is a consensus on the expansion of tags' purpose towards a glossary, further questions would have to be addressed: how to handle topic hierarchies, examples, cross-references, antonyms, (synonyms have already been discussed), etc. Those questions can wait, however.

  • 1
    But what about tags that fit under various other tags?! How exactly can we categorize such tags? Like the idea though. Dec 23, 2013 at 20:26
  • I just appended a paragraph on that question, thanks.
    – Martin F
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:02
  • Sounds like you want this meta.stackexchange.com/questions/176417/…
    – random
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:04
  • 1
    @random -- Sorry, i don't understand your point. Is that Q&A supposed to deal with my Q? I see it is related but far less so than meta.stackexchange.com/questions/136077/… for example.
    – Martin F
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:14
  • Given the amount of duplicates in the system you assume users either search or care that the information already exists
    – random
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:19
  • If there were greater emphasis placed on the tag system, yes, i would assume users would care more about it. But what do you mean by "duplicates in the system"?
    – Martin F
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:26
  • @random : Any idea on how i can improve my question? (I'm facing a ban and need to improve my questions.) Thanks.
    – Martin F
    Mar 21, 2015 at 19:58
  • @AshishNitinPatil : Any idea on how i can improve my question? (I'm facing a ban and need to improve my questions.) Thanks.
    – Martin F
    Mar 21, 2015 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


Tags already do constitute a glossary.

Definition of glossary:

"an alphabetical list of terms or words found in or relating to a specific subject, text, or dialect, with explanations; a brief dictionary."


Screenshot of Tags page

or sorted alphabetical

Sure, there could be more definitions filled in, but still, people edit information into tag wikis all the time.

New Tags

The reason that the use of new tag names is frowned upon is because if every word were allowed to become a tag, then it would be more like a dictionary, not a glossary. The value of tags would significantly decrease.

Duplicate questions

The linked question from a comment seems to make some sense in expanding the role of tags in that perhaps questions could be closed as "Question addressed in tag wiki" or similar.

  • Tags already a Glossary. Maybe. If so, Can we have a better glossary?
    – Martin F
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:35
  • Too many new tags = Dictionary. Maybe, but the name and definition of the particular SE should imply the level of generality and detail appropriate.
    – Martin F
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:37
  • Close Q with "already answered in tag" message. Yes, i guess that would be needed as a small addition to the SE capability.
    – Martin F
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:40

While the tags page might look as a glossary, tags can't be used as a glossary because there were already several discussions about tag hierarchies. So far, according to all of them were "declined". Tag excerpt the referred tag:

Tags on Stack Exchange aren't hierarchically ordered (and, in all likelihood, will never be - several proposals have been made already). Please check the list in the tag wiki to see if your question/proposal has already been asked before

The main purpose of tags is to connect questions with answerers not to be something to be read before posting a question, otherwise, the ask a question page should include a step for self-reviewing the tag - question concordance.


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