I noticed just now from the answer by RegDwight to this question that the tags are pluralised.

However we have and not , instead of and so on. (Even the 'official' instead of for meta.)

Shall we decided to use, in general, the plural or singular form for tags? (Incidentally, we have instead of but this should definitely not be seen as an exception, since the discussion is about all tags and not just one of them ;).)

2 Answers 2


For some tags, it doesn't make sense to use plural since it describes a single concept. You could test this by a heuristic I just came up with: saying "this question is about ______".

For other tags I suggest that we use the plural forms. It feels more natural, and was also the decision on EL&U.

  • I wonder if it would be possible for us to add this little heuristic in pop-up text near the desolate empty tag box when one asks a question. I think it would help people. Commented Jun 23, 2011 at 10:46
  • 1
    +1. Basically what ELU has found out works like a charm is this: prefer plural where 1. both singular and plural make sense, and 2. both singular and plural are actually used by the people tagging their own questions. So, while [grammaticalities], [punctuations], [politenesses] are obviously ruled out by (1), [meanings] and [discussions] are theoretically more of a gray area, but it turns out that in practice nobody actually uses them, so they are ruled out by (2) as it makes no sense to force them onto people.
    – RegDwight
    Commented Jun 23, 2011 at 10:51
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    @Glen: I don't think that would be necessary as long as we keep making tag synonyms when the "wrong" numerus is used.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 23, 2011 at 10:54

Always use singular form.

I don't know how the search-engine works, but I guess it is more easy to find 'tags' if you search for 'tag' as the other way round, because there is no simple rule to build the plural form. (child => children, man => men, ...).

And if I think about a search, I would search for tag, noun, synonym. Only with the sentence in mind 'This ... is about ...', I would build the plural form.

For a simple rule, always to use singular makes more sense than always using plural form.

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