If tag "foo" refers to two or more different technologies or concepts is it better to retag the less common usages or is it better to add additional tags to disambiguate?

My particular issue is with the tag which mostly refers to the command line tool and associated library but could also refer to the Curl programming language & software platform. Is it better to retag the Curl language questions as (any other suggestions?) or add some other tag such as "language"?

  • A tag of "language" would just provide yet another ambiguous tag to worry about. Which... actually... it is already an ambiguous tag on SO... pwah. Guess I'll go start rooting through that tonight.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 17, 2010 at 19:52
  • 1
    Curling, eh? I'd throw a takeout shot that makes the opposing tag slide behind the back line. Commented Sep 4, 2010 at 12:38
  • related (not a duplicate): A real solution to ambiguous tags
    – gnat
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


The first thing to do, of course, is post on Meta so we can discuss the situation. I don't want to say there's a cookie-cutter way to deal with these kinds of tags... we need to get the human element involved.

Generally speaking, though, yes, I think the way to go about this is splitting up the questions into >= 2 tags (as appropriate), and then blacklisting the original ambiguous tag. Jeff has said that the current tag blacklist system is a dev-only thing, so I don't know if freely blacklisting ambiguous tags such as this one will happen or not.

(I will leave the specific case at hand for the subject experts, as I am not one.)

  • Conceptually I would argue that the language should get the "curl" tag and the command line tool should use "curllib", but the fact is that tools is much more popular than the language (which has not really caught on outside of Japan) and the vast majority of the tags refer to the tool. Wouldn't it be seen as rude to blacklist the original tag because of an uncommon usage? Commented May 17, 2010 at 20:12
  • 1
    @Chris Perhaps in this case it is an uncommon alternate usage, but there is good merit to removing the ambiguous tag. As long as the ambiguous tag exists, people will have it pop up as a suggestion and they will probably use it for the incorrect reasons. In time, the results will still end up diluted. This is part of why I feel more action is necessary on the "temporary" tag.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 17, 2010 at 20:59

It'd probably be better to create a curl-language tag, a language tag would be too open to being used poorly.`

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