I think these tags are fairly uncontroversial deletes. Please comment out exceptions, or re-list them as an answer for separate voting. Same comment about a mod-updating these (I was going to do it if I could without bumping threads)

--These 'may' need to be retagged. (Add a note with a retag suggestion).





gas? (needs to be retagged 'equipment' or 'oven'; it's about stoves)












skate? (refers to the very uncommon skate-fish, post already tagged with fish)

cajun (replace with cajun-cuisine

serving-suggestion? (delete

gas (rename equipment

subjective (per meta

discussion (per meta


None of those tags mean anything to me, and some (like hackery) are actively annoying. I'm fine with removing all of them.

  • If I spend as much time getting rid of crappy tags like these, will you consider recipe-problems and food-differences as tolerable deviations from your approach? – Ocaasi Aug 4 '10 at 1:22
  • @Ocaasi: I didn't realize you were trying to make a trade here. :P After having a night to sleep on it, I think [food-differences] is really the same as [substitutions], which is already a meta-tag but one of the few that I do support. Before you pooh-pooh that, just think about it for a few minutes and see if you can think of any other applications for the information you'd find in a [food-differences] question. As for [recipe-problems], I still don't like it, but like most things here, I'll eventually defer to the community. – Aaronut Aug 4 '10 at 1:32
  • @aaronut, I'm with you on food-problems. Not a good tag. However, I do feel there is a real difference between comparisons and substitutions. What if I want to compare the qualities of white wine to red wine? I have no intention of substituting, I just would like to know the difference. – Mike Sherov Aug 4 '10 at 23:31
  • So, should the list of tags in the question area above be removed? If so, I can take care of that. – JustRightMenus Aug 5 '10 at 2:45
  • I did mull over the substitutions issue and basically came to the same conclusion as Mike. Sometimes comparisons have nothing to do with an intent to substitute but are merely about ignorance (in the extreme, tartar sauce and stake tartar). I think, respectfully, that you were doing some gymnastics to make food-comparisons fit within substitutions: but even substitutions aren't really an "expert" category. No one is a "substitutions expert" but it's still a good tag. And if that's true, maybe a few other descriptive tags are also worth having. – Ocaasi Aug 5 '10 at 2:53
  • @Ocaasi: The steak is spelled "tartare", so I think if somebody felt the need to ask that question, I would quickly downvote and vote to close it as a joke question (or at least a very silly and pointless one). [comparisons] really bothers me because it's so vague; if somebody uses that as the only tag, you have no clue at all what the question is about. [substitutions] may not be an expert category but it's a pretty specific one that tells you a lot about the question. I just can't agree that [comparisons] is any more useful than [how-to] or similar tags. – Aaronut Aug 5 '10 at 3:04
  • @Mike - you're right, I guess there are counterexamples. I still think that a question comparing red wine to white wine should be tagged [wine], not [comparisons]. The [comparisons] tag doesn't tell you anything at all unless it's paired with the [wine] tag, and if you already have the [wine] tag, why do you still need [comparisons]? It means everything and nothing all at once. – Aaronut Aug 5 '10 at 3:05
  • re: tartar, it was mainly a joke, but there are questions based on ignorance that are not. Maybe baking soda vs. baking powder, differences between kinds of vinegars, or types of onions, uncertainty about cuts of meat, ambiguity about dried vs. reconstituted ingredients, all kinds of "comparisons" that really are about differentiation and understanding, not substitution. – Ocaasi Aug 5 '10 at 3:43
  • Per the dependency argument, we do have room for more than one tag. Plus, the comparison tag tells you that you will be addressing/learning about not just one ingredient but two or more, and specifically, how they compare to eachother. If the tag 'just' says wine it may be sufficient, but not necessarily optimal. – Ocaasi Aug 5 '10 at 4:02
  • @Ocaasi: And this takes us back to the reason for tags. A tag that depends on other tags to have meaning is not a useful tag because it doesn't serve any of the functions utilizing tags - "dependent tags" are ipso facto too vague to make any sense for either subscriptions or the related questions sidebar. If you'd like to add [vegetable-comparisons] or [meat-comparisons], that's a little less objectionable - but I bet there will be very few questions in any of those tags and it will end up highlighting the absurdity of the whole thing. – Aaronut Aug 5 '10 at 14:31
  • @Ocaasi: This all stems from the basic principle that a tag needs to have meaning on its own. A [comparisons] tag has no meaning unless you know what's being compared, just as an [explanation] tag has no meaning unless you know what's being explained. It's incongruous to support the former but not the latter. My problem with [comparisons] isn't what it tells you, it's what it doesn't tell you. – Aaronut Aug 5 '10 at 14:34
  • @ Aaronut I think the difference between [explanation] and [comparisons] is that virtually every question is an explanation, but a distinct minority of questions address [comparisons]. I see it as the difference between [technique] and [learning]; technique is useless because of it's scope, while learning, although technically 'meta' addresses a very specific group of questions with a common theme, as well as a shared basis for expertise (for comparisons--knowledge of food ingredients, nutrition, history, culture, for learning--basics resources, culinary training, 'beginner' psychology). – Ocaasi Aug 7 '10 at 17:57
  • 1
    @Ocaasi: Funny you picked [learning] as an example, because that tag was recently deemed useless and purged from Stack Overflow. Every question is about learning. Now, [training] and [resources], on the other hand, are valid tags because they refer to something specific. Oh, and several of those "sub-topics" you picked - nutrition, history, culture - are off-topic. – Aaronut Aug 8 '10 at 13:36
  • @Aaronut Nutrition, history, and culture should not be off-topic. They are the heart of food. You can define the site how you like, but great chefs and great eaters know about them. – Ocaasi Aug 8 '10 at 22:08
  • @Aaronut Learning, training, resources...the key is to have a tag about skill acquisition. Every question involves new information, but not every question is explicitly about how to learn something new. We need one, as you identified with training and resources. Tags are primarily about accepted usage, so if the community intuitively or by instruction used learning to represent skill acquisition, so be it. Tags should refer to something specific, but the most important reference happens in the tag-user's mind. As long as tags are going where users expect, there is no issue. – Ocaasi Aug 8 '10 at 22:15

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