# Shouldn't we merge [definition] into [terminology]?

I think whatever the difference between (60 questions) and (247 questions) might possibly be, in practice these tags are used interchangeably. Therefore I suggest hard-merging the less popular into .

Update after @Glen_b's answer: I find that tags that are subsets of other tags tend to create confusion, so I would argue this should be avoided. It seems to me that there is a lot of questions about definitions marked with and not with , and so having separate sub-tag is not being very helpful.

Update 2 after further discussion: After some further reflection, I realized that my objection to sub-tags was not as warranted as I originally thought. We actually have many sub-tags that are pretty successful, e.g. exists together with and they are both used a lot. So I must admit that my suggestion was not very well thought through.

I haven't investigated all questions using those tags; I go by recollection of having seen both used a few times recently.

What I recall seems to be consistent with 'terminology' being used in ways where 'definition' doesn't really fit, such as the sense "how should I refer to/describe/explain this?" type questions ... such as in this recent question.

... which use makes the two not-synonyms.

However, by suggesting that definition merge into terminology, you'd only need that terminology encompassed definition - and for that, there may be some argument.

I'd lean toward keeping them separate, but it's not something I feel strongly about.

• In general I find that tags that are subsets of other tags tend to create confusion, so I would argue this should be avoided. E.g. if there are lots of questions about definitions marked with [terminology] and not with [definition], then having separate sub-tag [definition] is not being very helpful. Looking at the page with newest [terminology] questions, I see quite a bit of those. Dec 9 '14 at 23:05
• I tend to favour the status quo and thus agree with @Glen_b.. To me questions of definition do blur into questions of terminology, but they can be distinct. Often terminology doesn't correspond to a formal definition (e.g. I talk about looking for pattern or structure in data, and if someone doesn't understand I can try explaining what I mean in other words, but there's no formal definition out of sight). A recent question about gold standard and ground truth is another case where there is terminology, but it tends to be used informally. Dec 11 '14 at 10:30
• @Nick and Glen: I can see the distinction you are making, I am just not sure what to do with sub-tags (in general, and also in this case). Should I retag a question about a definition tagged with [terminology] to [definition], if I see or happen to edit one? Should I add [definition] in addition to [terminology]? Does this then mean that all questions with [definition] should ideally have [terminology] as well? Should we maybe add to the tag excerpt of [terminology] something like "Please use [definition] for questions about definitions"? Dec 11 '14 at 11:24
• @amoeba Use your judgement: it will be good. I see no objection to using both [definition] and [terminology] wherever both make sense. I don't have a feeling for which is the more likely search term. Dec 11 '14 at 12:08
• I think generally speaking, if there's a more general and a more specific tag, where one could be regarded as a subset of the other, if the more specific tag applies, you would not use the more general one unless it also applied outside that inclusion of the more specific sense. Dec 11 '14 at 15:08
• @Nick and Glen: After some further reflection, I realized that my objection to sub-tags was not as warranted as I originally thought. We actually have many sub-tags that are pretty successful, e.g. [multiple-regression] exists together with [regression] and they are both used a lot. So I must admit that my suggestion was not very well thought-through. Dec 11 '14 at 22:50
• It's interesting that you mention that specific pair -- I had the same pair in mind as I constructed my previous comment. Dec 11 '14 at 23:32
• Hi @Glen_b, I noticed that my tag synonym suggestion about [terminology]/[definition] from last December is still in the system marked as pending (pretty amazing that they never expire): stats.stackexchange.com/tags/…. As we decided that these two tags should not be merged, can you as a mod perhaps somehow reject this pending suggestion and make it disappear? I cannot even revoke my own vote; this whole tag synonym voting system is just awful. Oct 15 '15 at 14:30
• @amoeba I think that did it. I agree, the tag synonym setup is not good. Oct 15 '15 at 16:10
• Thanks, @Glen_b! By the way, when I look at the list of synonyms I see another old pending synonym suggested by StasK in Oct 2014. It has zero votes and does not appear on the "suggested" tab. Strange. I guess if you can somehow get a hold of it, it can be removed too. Oct 15 '15 at 16:14