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Tags are important when you want to search for previous questions and answers. Proper tagging increases the utility of this website. The chances of the proper tags being used decrease as the number of pages to view (the list of tags) goes up. Accordingly, redundant tags should be eliminated from the list to make it shorter and increase the frequency of the proper tags being used.

Below, I have listed tags that I feel should be eliminated. The left column shows tags that I am proposing for deletion, the right column shows the rationale (usually an already existing alternative).

Adverb      adverbs
Adverbien   adverbs
Anglizismus anglicism
Anrede      address
Aspect      ?
Ausdrucke   expressions
Auslassung  elision
Aussprache  pronunciation
Bayrisch    bavarian
Bedeutung   meaning
Begruessung salutation (needs to be created!)
Commata     comma
Dialekt     dialects
Dialekte    dialects
Grammatik   grammar
Grossschreibung capitalization
Herkunft    etymology
Fragewoerter    interrogatives
Frageworter interrogatives
Fremdwort   loanword
Hoflichkeit politeness
Loanwords   loanword
Mathematik  mathematics
Prateritum  preterite
Sailors-language sailor-jargon
Satzbau     sentence-structure
Semantik    semantics (needs to be created!)
Sich        ?
Word-existence  ?
Wortherkunft    etymology
Uebersetzen translation
Uebersetzung    translation
Zahlenformat    mathematics
Zusammengesetztes-wort  compounds
Translation-en-to-de    english-to-german
Translation-de-to-en    german-to-english

Edit: Okay, so I've done more reading and I found out that many of the tags I listed above are in fact not operative tags but what stackexchange calls "synonyms" (I would call them "redirects"). Why didn't someone tell me? Anyway, it would be nice to hear from stackexchange staff, especially considering my proposal to pack the listing of tags much more densely per page and to turn "excerpts" into tooltips!

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  • I made some miner changes, I think they are what are you thinking of. Otherwise feel free to revert my changes. – Em1 Apr 3 '12 at 15:04
  • @Em1 Thanks, all good. – Eugene Seidel Apr 3 '12 at 15:09
  • It would also help if tags are packed much more densely on the webpages that list them. It should be possible to double or even triple the number of tags shown per page. To save space, the so-called excerpt could be converted to a tooltip that appears when you hover the mouse over the tag. – Eugene Seidel Apr 3 '12 at 15:51
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    Geht es bei aspect hierum? Haben wir sowas im Deutschen? – Em1 Apr 3 '12 at 16:58
  • @Em1 Yes, that appears to be right. Even though "aspect" is not implemented in German, this could still be a useful tag, for example for someone asking how to translate aspect from one of the languages in which it exists into German. Will you write the wiki for "aspect"? – Eugene Seidel Apr 5 '12 at 22:08
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    Wenn ich die Zeit dafür finde, mache ich mich mal schlau, was aspect überhaupt genau ist. Den Wiki-Artikel hatte ich nur überflogen, aber nicht wirklich verstanden. Soweit ich aber weiß, gibt es sowas im Russischen, und da ich einige Russen kenne, frage ich die mal. – Em1 Apr 6 '12 at 19:57
  • I think you should post your suggestion about packing tags as a new question. That way, everyone could vote on that separately, and it would be more visible to the staff. Right now, your suggestion is hidden in a question about something else. – Tim Apr 16 '12 at 21:13
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Einzelfälle. Examples.

  • Zahlenformat mathematics

Number format is not a topic of mathematics.


  • Zahlenformat mathematics

Zahlenformat ist kein Thema der Mathematik.

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prefered language - bevorzugte Sprache

I don't understand why everybody, who has questions about German, has to learn English before.

I support the idea of deletion of duplicate tags, but strongly vote to use German keywords.

English keywords will restrict the usability to elitist, well educated persons, who have reached a certain level of English. Native german speakers wihtout good English knowledge, which might include well educated persons which learned Greek, Latin, Russian and French in school can get annoyed, as well as Indians, Russians, Chinese people for example, which didn't learn English in the first place.

Of course, since those people are already excluded from meta, they don't complain.


Ich verstehe nicht, wieso jeder, der eine Frage zu Deutsch hat, erst Englisch lernen muss.

Ich unterstütze die Idee doppelte Schlüsselwörter zu eliminieren, aber fordere nachdrücklich die deutsche Version beizubehalten.

Englische Schlüsselwörter beschränken die Bedienbarkeit zu elitären Mehrsprachlern, die ein Mindestmaß an Englisch können. Muttersprachler die keine umfassenden Fremdsprachenkenntnisse haben werden sich rasch ausgeschlossen fühlen, sowie solche, die Latein, Griechisch, Russisch und Französisch, aber eben kaum Englisch gelernt haben. Ebenso kann natürlich nicht davon ausgegangen werden, dass jeder Inder, Chinese, Russe oder Araber erst Englisch lernt, um hier eine Frage zu stellen. Er wird die Frage womöglich woanders stellen.

Da aber all die Leute, die in der Hinsicht arg gehandicapt, oder besonders empfindlich sind, bereits ausgegrenzt werden, kommt aus dieser Richtung kein Protest.

Gerade hier auf Meta hat die Ausgrenzung ja Methode.

Leider verstehen viele Teilnehmer diese Kritik als persönliche Kritik an ihrem polyglotten Lebensstil, und sie gefallen sich so sehr in der Fähigkeit, Fragen d. deutschen Sprache auf Englisch verhandeln zu können, dass sie den ausgrenzenden Charakter verächtlich beiseite schieben, und stattdessen behaupten, die meisten Besucher könnten nur dank der engl. Sprache Deutsch lernen - was allen Methoden Fremdsprachen zu lehren widerspricht.

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  • I respect your point of view. However, aren't there enough monolingual sites already that address German language and usage? I view stackexchange as an international website using English as the lingua franca. Losses from people turning away because they feel uncomfortable communicating in English would have to be balanced against losses from people turning away because they feel excluded when communication is not in English. – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 1:58
  • Well - the common denominator for a language X might be much more probable X, not English (except, of course, English). There are websites for programming, Linux, Ubuntu and other topics already. SE's aim is to become the first source, with a concept of 'the best of the worlds of forums, blogs, wikis and a 4th one, which I've forgotten'. What questions do you expect from people, who can't articulate their question in german? – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 3:09
  • I guess this question would be one example. It is doubtful that the Asker would have clearly understood Answers given in German. – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 3:36
  • Why do you think so? A basic understanding of the language seems available. Asking in the language to learn is harder, but has greater learning success. I would be lazy as well, and try to ask in German, when trying to learn English, but it wouldn't be a good idea. – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 3:45
  • I don't understand why everybody, who has questions about German, has to learn English before. -> And people who are not German? Do they have to know the German word for the tag? Especially when you're asking about something in a foreign language it's not easy to decide which tag is the correct one. OK, you're welcome to retag the questions ;p. But I think, since all StackExchange pages are in English, tags should be in English here, too. The three or four German people who don't know German will survive. – Em1 Apr 12 '12 at 7:33
  • @Em1: The three or four German people who don't know German? Where did you get the numbers? How many non-native English speaker know what interrogatives are? I didn't know. – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 7:43
  • Oh yes. Sorry, I forgot to mention that it's not about perfect people. Yes, there are more than three or four people who don't know English, but I'm pretty sure those are very rarely seen here. It's just a feeling but I think at least there are more people who don't know German well enough then those German who don't know English. And since English is the language which is learned in much more countries then German, then please think of people from Timbuktu. For them it is easier to find interrogative then Fragewort. And those German people who are overstrained... Yeah, I'm sorry for them. – Em1 Apr 12 '12 at 7:51
  • @Em1: Well - shall I really repeat it again and again? It is normal learning habit to learn in the language you like to learn. Your assumption seems to be, that people try to lern German from scratch with GL&U, while being fluent in English. If this is the status quo today, it might have to do with English being primarly used here. The cause, not the reason. Jokes about Timbuktu don't seem appropriate, where the official language is, btw. French, not English. I don't see how English is supposed to be a help, there. – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 8:03
  • Hahah. That's good, that the official language in Timbuktu isn't English, since that was absolutely what I want to express. It's not about people who speak either English or German as primary language :) And btw. I'm not kidding. For those who want to speak and write in German only, there is a equivalent page to stackexchange. Same structure, same ideas, ... in German only. And those who are non-native and want to learn German, it is no help for them just that the tag is in German. The better learning is writing the question in German and don't care about that tag. – Em1 Apr 12 '12 at 8:10
  • Well, maybe as a compromise a few dozen of the most common tags could be entered into the system in German... but they would not show in the listing of tags; typing one of them, however, would automagically produce its English counterpart. Might confuse new users, though... – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 20:48
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singular - plural / Einzahl - Mehrzahl

In manchen Fällen mag man eher die Einzahl, in anderen eher die Mehrzahl wählen. Wenn man aber eine Vereinheitlichung anstrebt, dann ist die Einzahl besser geeignet die Kategorie für alle Fragen zu einem Thema zu sammeln.

Vergleichen wir für einige Beispiele Einzahl u. Mehrzahl (dt.):

Einzahl: 

Anglizismus anglicism
Anrede      address
Aspect      ?
Ausdruck    expression
Auslassung  elision
Aussprache  pronunciation
Bayrisch    bavarian
Bedeutung   meaning
Begruessung salutation (needs to be created!)
Komma       comma
Dialekt     dialects
Grammatik   grammar
Grossschreibung capitalization
Herkunft    etymology
Fragewort   interrogatives
Fremdwort   loanword
Hoflichkeit politeness
Lehnwort    loanword
Mathematik  mathematics
Prateritum  preterite

Mehrzahl: 

Anglizismen anglicism
Anreden     address
Aspecte     ?
Ausdrucke   expressions
Auslassungen  elision
Aussprachen pronunciation
Bedeutungen meaning
Begruessungen  salutation (needs to be created!)
Kommata     comma
Dialekte    dialects
Grammatiken grammar
Grossschreibungen capitalization
Herkunfte   etymology
Frageworter interrogatives
Fremdworter loanword
Hoflichkeiten politeness
Lehnworter  loanword
Mathematiken  mathematics
Prateritum  preterite

Wie man sieht taugt die Mehrzahl in der Mehrzahl der Fälle nicht, um eine Frage zu kategorisieren. Selbst wenn man fragt, in welchen Dialekten (Mz.) ein Begriff vorkommt, so ist die Verwendung des Schlüsselwortes "Dialekt" nicht befremdlich. Nach Mathemaiken zu suchen, wenn man Mathematik meint, ist für die meisten Nichtmathematiker, die noch nie über den Sinn der Mehrzahl hier nachgedacht haben, aber befremdlich und fernliegend. Ähnlich: "Grammatiken, Großschreibungen, Herkünfte" u.a.

Da Benutzer oft zu faul (netter: zu sehr in Eile) sind die FAQ zu lesen, ein schlechtes Gedächtnis für deren Regeln haben und an alten Gewohnheiten festhalten sollte man, wenn man eine einheitliche Vorgehensweise wählt, tun, was den größten Erfolg verspricht.

Entweder hieße das, für jeden Begriff auszudiskutieren, ob Einzahl oder Mehrzahl dem 0-8-15-User näherliegen, oder wenn man zum Schluss kommt, dass eine Sichtweise sehr viel häufiger vernünftig ist als die andere, diese wählen. Eine Regel, die sich leicht vermitteln läßt, weil sie in einen Tooltiptext passt, den man einblenden kann, wenn das Suchfeld mit der Maus besucht wird, wie "immer X" hat einiges für sich.

Im Lexikon wird man, wenn man sich für Motoren interessiert, nach "Motor" suchen. Bei Singularitäten wie "Rhein" und "Mozart" sowieso. Der Benutzer ist es also gewohnt die Einzahl zu verwenden.

Ich kann eine Frage zu einer Aussprache oder zu mehreren Aussprachen haben. Im ersten Falle ist es befremdlicher das Schlüsselwort in Mz. zu verwenden, als im umgekehrten Fall die Einzahl. Schlagwortkataloge benutzen üblicherweise die Einzahl für die Kategorie: Der Ottomotor, der 4-Takt-Motor ... - durch die dt. Umlaute ist es auch nicht immer trivial die Mehrzahl mechanisch abzuleiten: Maus/Mäuse, Haus/Häuser, Klaus/Klause, Klaue/Klauen.

Manche Worte haben auch keine Mehrzahl (Haue, Mehl, ...).


In some cases the singular form, in others the plural form looks more natural. If unification for a simple rule is the goal, singular is better.

See some examples in singular and the same ones in plural (en.):

singular: 

Adverbien   adverb
Anglizismus anglicism
Anrede      address
Aspect      aspect
Ausdrucke   expression
Auslassung  elision
Aussprache  pronunciation
Bayrisch    bavarian
Bedeutung   meaning
Begruessung salutation
Commata     comma
Dialekt     dialect
Grammatik   grammar
Grossschreibung capitalization
Herkunft    etymology
Fragewoerter    interrogativ
Fremdwort   loanword
Hoflichkeit politeness
Mathematik  mathematics
Prateritum  preterite

plural: 

Adverbien   adverbs
Anglizismus anglicisms
Anrede      addresses
Aspect      aspects 
Ausdrucke   expressions
Auslassung  elisions
Aussprache  pronunciations
Bedeutung   meanings
Begruessung salutations (needs to be created!)
Commata     commas
Dialekt     dialects
Grammatik   grammars
Grossschreibung capitalizations
Herkunft    etymologys
Fragewoerter    interrogatives
Fremdwort   loanwords
Hoflichkeit politenesses
Mathematik  mathematics
Prateritum  preterites

The plural form contains more unusual terms.

As you see, the more plural forms aren't useful for categorization. Even if you ask for different dialects (pl.) of a term, the keyword "dialect" isn't unusual. But who would ask for multiple mathematics? Similar: "Grammatics, capitalizations, etymologys" et al.

Since Users are too lazy to read FAQs, don't like to remember the rules there, and stick to what they're used to, we should choose something, which is known, and from dictionary search, people are used to search for the singular form. This promises most success.

An alternative would be, to discuss for every tag, whether singular, plural or none of them is more natural to use. But a single rule, which can be shown when the user visits a search field as tooltip text, like "use always X for search" would be fine.

In dictionaries, you would always search for the singular form, for example "engine". For singularities like "Rhein" and "Mozart" although.

I may have a question for a single pronounciation or for multiple pronounciations. In the first case it would be more uncommon to search for the plural form, than in the second for the singular form. Katalogs use the singular form already: The Otto engine, the four stroke engine, ... - the german Umlauts make it non trivial to produce the plural form mechanically: Maus/Mäuse, Haus/Häuser, Klaus/Klause, Klaue/Klauen.

Some words don't even have a plural form (Haue, Mehl, ...).

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  • "mathematics" is an uncount noun, there is no "singular" form of the word. – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 2:03
  • Thank you for taking so much time to study and reply to my proposals. May I take it that you favor my proposal of turning tag "excerpts" into tag tooltips? How do you feel about my idea of showing many more tags per page compared to the present formatting? – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 2:06
  • @EugeneSeidel: Die Universität unterrichtet eine Mathematik. Gäbe es die Nationalsozialisten noch, so hätten diese, wie in der Physik, neben der als jüdisch denunzierten, internationalen eine germanische Spielart der Mathematik proklamiert, und wären zweifelsohne von mehreren Mathematiken ausgegangen. Man muß nicht an mehrere Mathematiken glauben, um den Begriff zu benötigen. :) Aber wenn, dann gibt es keine Mehrzahl, nicht keine Einzahl, würde ich sagen. – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 3:00
  • @EugeneSeidel: About Tooltips: But tags are already decorated with tooltips. After a short while, the tooltip will show (if available) the excerpt from the tag. Try with 'feature-request' yourself. – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 3:11
  • Aber wenn, dann gibt es keine Mehrzahl, nicht keine Einzahl, würde ich sagen Right, I actually did mean that. – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 3:22
  • tags are already decorated with tooltips That's good! Now how about packing more tags onto a page. I see two ways this can be done: (1) eliminate whitespace (2) show excerpts only as tooltips. – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 3:25
  • @EugeneSeidel: Of which page are you talking? The tags page contains 4x9 tags on page 1, 7 pages for today, but is orderable and searchable. In future, the number of pages will still increase. Do you want to read them all? I can visit my own tags where I find 97 spread across 2 pages, without excerpt. Why do you need so much of them on a single page? – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 3:36
  • Like you, I am seeing 4x9 tags = 36 and there are 7 pages. My thinking is, someone who has already taken the time to compose a question will be impatient to post it and may not want to click through all 7 pages (more in the future) to find the appropriate tags. – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 3:42
  • @EugeneSeidel: Well, of course not. You will think of what word would be a fine tag, and choose such a word. It might get synonymized, if there is already a too similar one. However, the question fits better to MSO, since it isn't specific for GL&U. – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 3:54
  • In der ersten Box sind noch zwei Pluralformen im Englischen. War das beabsichtigt? – Em1 Apr 12 '12 at 7:36
  • @Em1: Im dt. Teil habe ich nur auf die dt. Form geachtet, im engl. nur auf die engl. – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 7:40
  • @userunknown However, the question fits better to MSO, since it isn't specific for GL&U. You may be right. Ideally, the technical staff reading us here would recognize this as a good idea and take up the cause themselves :) – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 20:52
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    ... and while you're at it, dear technical staff, please make it so that "retagging" a question doesn't bump it up to the top of the page with my name next to it. I see easily a dozen Questions that would benefit from having a pertinent tag added but if the result is that the page fills up with bumped-up Questions with my name next to each one, of course I won't do it :) – Eugene Seidel Apr 12 '12 at 21:26
  • @EugeneSeidel: You should really look up meta, whether this is already discussed there - else make it a new threat, instead of waiting and hoping. – user unknown Apr 12 '12 at 21:31

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