Currently the displayed number of questions in a tag is:

  • If I search for questions with a tag: The total number of tags in the synonym group.
  • In the tag search (and some other places): The number of questions that have been tagged with this very tag. If a tag is a synonym source, these are questions that were tagged before synonymisation (if I am not mistaken).
  • In the tag bubble (or tooltip): The number of questions that have been directly tagged with the synonym group’s master synonym, i.e., not with a synonym source.

For example for and here on Meta, I obtain:

If this weren’t already confusing by itself, there are cases where significantly fewer questions were originally tagged with the master tag than with the synonyms being mapped to it, which leads to totally wrong impressions on the size of a tag from tag search or the tag bubble.

I thus request that the total number of questions in a synonym group is shown at all occasions.

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure this is necessary. This is a very rare problem that is easily solved by simply merging the tags, which is what really should be done if the synonym has raised no objections.

Doing so would also list all the synonyms for a tag with the same number of questions in the tag search page, which potentially creates a long string of tags all with the same number of questions attached to them appearing in a row and bumping other tags that might be more relevant. The current behavior is for synonyms to [inevitably] get merged into the master, end up with 0 questions attached, and get bumped to the very end of the list because no one really needs to look at the duplicates.

If you see situations like this, try and track down the Meta post that got the synonym created and ask the moderator to go ahead and merge the tags, or just start a new Meta post to have them merged together. Because ultimately, this action should happen at some point. If everyone is too afraid to merge the tags together, then they probably shouldn't be synonyms.

  • 1
    So, a moderator’s duties include merging established synonyms. Good to know.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 17:45

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