I asked a question about the use of 以外 recently and tried to create a new tag "particle-igai". It was rightly removed because 以外 is not a particle, but it got me thinking about how we use tags.

Many of my questions just end up with the generic "grammar" tag, because there isn't a tag relevant to what I'm asking about. How useful is the grammar tag? If I have a question, I'd never think "I know, I'll search all the question that are tagged as grammar and see if any of them answer my question". But if there was a tag named "igai", I might do just that.

Even simple things like だけ have no tag, and nor does the ever popular という to name but two. Just doing a search for だけ is useful but not ideal since loads of search results will have incidental uses of the particle and won't actually focus on its usage. Would it be useful if we started creating tags for things like this when users post questions? Or is it too late to worry about it? I shouldn't think anyone has the energy to go retro-tagging all the old questions.

Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's too late to create tags which might be useful — better sooner than later. Retagging questions with might take a little while, but it could be a community effort.

I would search for [grammar] だけ in the site search and try to look if the question is actually about だけ or if it just incidentally contains だけ (the results will most likely have false positives from だけど). Doing this gives many results which are indeed about だけ and could be retagged. (381 results in total, but I guess that not even half of these should be retagged.)

For example, after this discussion, you could collect a "wishlist" for tags and after a certain number of upvotes keep a record of the progress of retagging.

We should just be careful that the retagging doesn't completely take over the site because a retag will bump the question to the top (on the "active" filter) and push other new/active questions down. I guess a handful questions every 12 hours should be fine.

As to what tags to introduce, it's also not helpful to have tags for too many words, because the less universal the word, the more likely is it that users select a more general tag (like , , ...). Questions about 以外 can probably be found quite effectively searching for is:question 以外. In fact, we have 45 results for this search query.

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    I didn't even know you could do things like is:question. That helps a lot. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 17:05

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