Originally non-ASCII tags weren't allowed, but French Language chose to use French-language tags despite the limitation. Most words are recognizable without diacritics anyway.

Recently, non-ASCII characters in tags were enabled (like they have been on other Stacks) and users started to use the proper spelling.

Trying, as a moderator, to "merge" the old abreviations tag to the newly-created abréviations tag (which is the proper French orthography for this tag) resulted in… problems.

After this "abreviations to abréviations" merge operation, only abréviations appears in tag lists, with the correct total number of questions. Which is fine. But some (not all) questions are now tagged abrviations, that is, the non-ASCII character has been mangled. The tag is displayed like this in questions and questions lists and possesses its own URI. In other cases¹, I'm positive that some of the tags were renamed properly (only a few, which tend to belong to recently created questions) and others wrongly.

Recently the situation changed… and we now have split tags abr and viations. And tag lists are broken as well. Eager to see what will come next…

Two requests:

  • The tag-merge operation should be fixed. It ought to handle non-ASCII tags correctly.

  • The FR.SE database needs to be fixed. After those mangled tags are restituted their missing characters (using the fixed tag-merge operation?), tag counts may need to be recomputed. According to my experiment, tag counts were wrong after I manually corrected one tag.

1. Some of the tags I played with before realizing the issue: negationnégation, abreviationsabréviations, etymologieétymologie, televisiontélévision.

  • Are these the old questions that had the "English" tag? If you edit the post it will re-render the HTML and might fix this problem.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 17:07
  • 1
    The thing with the "incorrect" tag URL - that's by design. It does that for any string - e.g. french.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/ggogogogo
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 17:08
  • Tags that received a diacritic during a merge operation got mangled at first and now they are split. The old name was abreviations, not exactly English since a b would be missing. Commented May 11, 2014 at 17:11
  • @ChrisF: I know that, but this tag was once populated with questions, like abr currently is. Or, for instance, t, l and vision which artifacts coming from télévision that were generated by this bug. You'll find some questions that really look funny. You might think they are tagged with 7 tags. Commented May 11, 2014 at 17:14
  • Ah - but if you look at this question - french.stackexchange.com/questions/7463/… - it was last edited on Sep 16 '13 at 9:33. Try editing it now and see what happens.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 17:22
  • It would fix it, but there are lots of them. We cannot do it for every single one. It would trash the home page with useless bumps, and tag counts would end up wrong anyway. There's nothing we can do by ourselves as long as the 'merge tool' isn't fixed. Commented May 11, 2014 at 17:24
  • 1
    I was thinking that an edit to the body - without actually touching the tags would fix it, but when I went to suggest an edit the tags didn't change, so it does look like a database change would be the best solution.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 11, 2014 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


I made more tests after I noticed there had been a change in behavior. Whatever the reason, the tag-merge operation seemed fixed. And I dared try an emergency fix of the broken tags (only 2 or 3 months after the accident). A few weeks later, everything seems alright on french.stackexchange.com but I cannot tell for sure what's happening under the hood.

Any kind of confirmation that everything has more or less gone back to normal would be appreciated.

Notice that the display of tags on network-wide profiles is still broken. For example, the fourth question in Evpok's profile is tagged

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