When reviewing suggested edits, I saw a proposed edit to add the tag to a question about a salmon "burger".

I've had salmon burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, venison burgers. So a burger doesn't necessarily need to contain ground beef (or even ground meat) to qualify. However, I am not certain what the limits are on what should earn the tag.

The existing description is only a couple sentences long:

Questions about the classic American sandwich, the hamburger and how to prepare them. Do not use this tag for "hamburger meat" aka ground beef or beef mince outside the context of the sandwich.

While questions about raw ground beef are excluded from the tag, nothing else is specifically left out. Existing questions in the tag are almost entirely about beef hamburgers, but I did see one about veggie burgers, so that didn't help me either. (For what it's worth I don't think hamburger is a great tag for the question I link to above, which is about a fried salmon filet with the same bread and condiments as a beef hamburger. Personally, I wouldn't even classify that as a salmon burger...)

Before editing the tag for a little more clarity, I figured it would be better to ask a meta question to establish how it really is expected to be used.


Alternate thing to consider from comments on an answer: renaming the tag to a somewhat more general , instead of relegating that to a synonym?

Currently, is a synonym of . If we reverse the direction of the synonym, the tag will be much more consistent with actual word usage.

My reaction to that is: Anything that a user of ours is willing to call a hamburger, should be called a hamburger. The tag info is intended to disambiguate from a homonym, not to put borders on the semantic category of "burger" in the sense of the sandwich.

You seem to want to define such borders, which I would argue against. In reality, the borders don't exist. So the best one can do is to introduce arbitrary borders, which need endless discussions to be set up, and then brew conflicts when a person with a differnt intuitive understanding of the category comes and is prevented from calling their hamburger a hamburger. We would spend efforts on this, without gaining anything.

If we just leave the definition open, we don't have to fight against the "definitions" which are already in people's heads, but just let the people use them. This might sound like an anarchy, but in reality it works out pretty well. We don't have to worry about people making some impossibly stupid claims, like labelling spaghetti carabonara a hamburger, they will never come up with it in the first place (and if a troll does, bascially the whole site will agree with treating it as vandalism). On the other hand, if somebody sees a sandwich with a salmon patty as a "salmon burger" then who we are to judge that it is not allowed to be a burger?

When starting from that position, there is also no need to change the tag info at all. The text is as clear as it needs to be: it allows the user to use the tag for any kind of hamburger.

  • There's arguably a difference between a burger and a hamburger — I've never heard salmon hamburger or veggie hamburger, for example, while [something] burger is very common. In any case: I don't really have much agenda here other than understanding how to use the tag, and helping others do the same. Its current guidance usage is sparse, in my opinion. – Erica Oct 18 at 18:01
  • If I came across as accusing you of an agenda, that wasn't my intention - maybe you can help me reword my answer so the misinterpretation cannot arise again. You are right, I actually had "burger" in mind and had to pay extra attention to write "hamburger" everywhere. Maybe this is a sign that we need to put more thought into it, e.g. by renaming the tag "burger", if that's what users need. – rumtscho Oct 18 at 19:41
  • I used agenda in a fairly neutral sense, and did not take offense at the tone. Your point that a tag with many meanings should stay broad is quite valid! Perhaps renaming it so the "parent" tag is burger, rather than hamburger, meets the general goal -- it's a broader term. – Erica Oct 18 at 21:22
  • So, I asked on Meta.SE and there are tools for reversing the direction of the current synonym. We would need Meta agreement before we proceed. I'm going to post that as a sepaprate answer, so people can vote on it. – rumtscho Oct 19 at 9:44

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