Possible Duplicate:
Merge singular and plural tags

Why don't moderators merge tags which are just singular and plural forms of the same word?

image - images
graph - graphs
best-practice - best-practices
tree - trees
feature-request - feature-requests

And some tags have very similar meaning: tags - tagging.

It is annoying when searching and asking questions, especially given the limit of 5 tags per question.

Maybe it would be best to have the tags in plural form be automatically changed to singular?


3 Answers 3


Anything besides an automatic system that handles these is a waste of time for everybody. When these tags are merged or retagged by hand they are immediately created again, so trying to clean this up by hand is futile and with no chances for lasting success.

For example a query for potential singular/plural combinations where each tag is used at least 50 times gives this:

applications  100      application   651
arrays        3557     array         279
attributes    602      attribute     167
basics        54       basic         64
blogs         206      blog          93
browsers      79       browser       1239
bugs          371      bug           166
buttons       102      button        555
bytes         64       byte          129
callbacks     179      callback      286
148 row(s)

Fighting this manually when all these tags will be recreated after a few days is not the way to go. My vote to combat such situations still goes to simple "automatic retagging", which should be rather trivial to implement.

  • 1
    Your point is well taken, but it also illustrates the problem with auto-retagging: basic could be the singular of basics, but it could also be about the language BASIC.
    – Pops
    Apr 20, 2010 at 21:00
  • @Pop: The auto-retagging list should be a manually composed list. For example there could be everything in it that was merged before via a retag-request. If it was ok to be merged once, probably it's ok to (automatically) keep merging these tags for new questions.
    – sth
    Apr 21, 2010 at 0:00

They're more often retagged than you think. Just post a [retag-request] and we'll look.

As to the auto-retag, well, that's going to be harder than it would look like. Humans are more failsafe.


As the duplicate says, these have to be done on a case-by-case basis.

Hopefully tag synonyms are coming in the pipeline, but in the meantime we do the best we can.

If you have a specific issue, please post a retag-request here on Meta.

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