A while ago, I was trying to edit a question on Web Applications, but got a rather confusing error message:

The tag [charts] is too similar to [charts]. If you think this new tag should be allowed, discuss it on meta.

I think the system is trying to tell me that the [charts] tag is blocked, but my initial reaction was "I must have made a spelling error" (and the second one "there's a zero-width space playing tricks on me"). Is my guess right, and if so, can the message be improved?

"charts" written in the tags box in an attempt to edit it in, with the aforementioned error message

  • 4
    So, would you like to discuss whether [charts] is really too close to [charts]? Honestly, I don't think it is. Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 17:11
  • 7
    Its similarity is off the charts...
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 17:28
  • It's an uncharted synonym.
    – Rob
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 22:37

1 Answer 1


The system is not referencing blocked tags here - there is no rule blocking such a tag. The error is a result of an odd situation that has occurred on Web Apps.

Currently, there is a synonym that exists for that directs it to , but the tag itself has since been deleted and no longer exists, requiring it to be created again. However, because there exists a synonym, the system thinks the tag "exists" even in a fake way and the system does not allow non-moderators to create new tags that differ only by hyphens and pluralizations.

It is seeing the tag synonym, preventing the creation of due to similarly, and then the error message is reading out twice because the lookup is being redirected to the plural form making the message very confusing.

Simplest solution: delete the synonym that is no longer useful.

  • 5
    OK, I didn't expect that ... I'll rewrite my question to a support one, keeping your answer valid of course :)
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 16:46

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