I'm trying to search for questions with "C" and "gui". Ideally, I would just see all questions tagged with both of these words. When I search "C", I get absolutely nothing. When I search for "C gui" or "gui C", I get the same results as I do when I search for "gui".

I can click on the "C" tag in my "Interesting Tags" section, but then I can't search those questions for GUI.

What am I doing wrong? It seems like a relatively simple search.


So, using advice from some of the people that have answered, I can successfully find what I need using the search [c] [gui].

That works, but... why doesn't the search C gui include "C" in the search?

  • 1
    This is a serious bug. – dmckee Sep 2 '10 at 19:10

To search for tags on questions, wrap the tag in []. So, your search would be [c] [gui]

As for c not being converted to [c] I will surmise a guess that there's a 3 character limit on a term being used. 3 character limits are common throughout other parts of S[OFUE] so it seems logical this is used here.

At least in my head it seems logical!

EDIT: StackOverflow doesn't include stop words in its search for optimization purposes (source). Here's a list of stop words. Notice c is on the list. Anybody want to bet that the step eliminating stop words happens before the tag check?

  • I guess that would make sense, but I have nothing to add when I want to search for questions in C... I guess you have to use mykeyword [c] – mouche Aug 31 '10 at 2:21
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    assuming your list is comprehensive, it seems that [c] is the only tag that this applies to, since it's the only top-50 tag which is a stop word. Nevertheless, it is a problem. Perhaps the bug is that C is considered a stop word at all on a programmer's site.. but more generally for SE, the bug is probably that stop words are killed before popular tags are checked. – Philip Potter Aug 31 '10 at 9:55
  • Right. I did look on SO to see if there was another tag we could use to test. Perhaps on one of the other sites in the network but I didn't look. By no means do I know for certain this is the answer, just attempting to piece together the puzzle. – Rebecca Chernoff Aug 31 '10 at 12:36
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    I found that "make", being a stopword (but also the name of a handy build tool and hence a tag name) is also not auto-translated to a tag search. – j_random_hacker Sep 21 '10 at 6:24

You can specify a tag with [square-brackets]. So, you could search for [c] [gui] as a workaround.

It seems distinctly odd that [gui] gets recognised as a tag automatically, but [c] doesn't, when [c] is a far bigger tag. Particularly when the search help says:

Results are weighted heavily towards question title matches, and any search terms matching the most popular 50 tags will be automatically mapped to a tag to help narrow your search.

so there's clearly something gone awry here.

  • That worked for me. I'm still confused why C isn't included in the search. – mouche Aug 31 '10 at 2:05

The reason 'C' wasn't included in your search is because the letter 'C' is probably in 90% of all posts. The search would return far too many results and wouldn't be helpful at all.

  • 3
    [c] is one of the top 50 tags. Why wasn't it converted to a tag search? – Rebecca Chernoff Aug 31 '10 at 3:23
  • That's not true if it only matches whole words. I'm not sure how it searches. Either way -- it's odd that it just gets removed without warning. – mouche Aug 31 '10 at 4:19
  • @rch, true. That's odd. – jjnguy Aug 31 '10 at 12:56

This has now need resolved, it's included in the search. Note that c# and c++ variants appear as well by default just because of how symbols work across the board. That being said, "c" gui will show only the matches you're after.

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