is a useful way for people to find questions that laypeople might ask about chemistry. It's a bit of a "meta" tag but we can hold (or re-hold) that discussion another time, since I think it does have some utility.

It gets abused by new(er) users thinking that it means chemistry that is "ordinary" or "commonplace" or "textbook", etc., despite having a half-decent tag wiki.

So, if you see this tag on a question where it doesn't belong, please edit accordingly. Please note that this is not an invitation to untag every question but just to refine the set we already have for the time being.

I realize that with the site graduation, many of you have lost the ability to edit (with the rep requirement being 2K rep now instead of 1K), but we are very efficient at approving/rejecting, so don't hesitate to put suggested edits to good use.

Geoff has suggested providing some examples: (note, these are all in my opinion, and what I hunted down with a cursory glance, so any input on these specific examples would be great)

Shouldn't have it but did:

Should have had it but didn't:


  • $\begingroup$ Can you give a few examples where you think it was mis-tagged? $\endgroup$ May 19, 2015 at 3:01
  • $\begingroup$ @GeoffHutchison There's a few. I welcome anyone else to edit theirs into the question and/or provide an answer with their rationale. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    May 19, 2015 at 3:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin Can teach a dog some new tricks ;) $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    May 19, 2015 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ My pleasure. :P I think the tag wiki describes well enough what questions should be tagged and which shouldn't. Maybe it would be better to reflect that also in the excerpt, since that is what appears when applying the tag. New user's will probably always apply at least one wrong tag, if it is just this one, I could live with it. For me it's almost the same as all those buzzwords in the title. It is a fight you cannot win, but if you don't fight it, you have already lost. Thanks for raising awareness though. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2015 at 4:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン I spend hours in my underground lair coming up with Chem.SE projects. I agree that it's not an emergency. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    May 19, 2015 at 4:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I can picture that ;) Raising awareness is what counts here, I guess, that's why I am now linking to the buzzword challenge. I am happy to see a lot of suggested edits as of the graduation, as that means people are active in that field. When they know what they have to be on the lookout for, it's even better. $\endgroup$ May 19, 2015 at 4:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン FWIW, I just got another example. chemistry.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/19849 $\endgroup$
    – Del Pate
    May 19, 2015 at 7:23
  • $\begingroup$ "Please note that this is not an invitation to untag every everyday-chemistry question but just to refine the set we already have for the time being." What does this mean? If its been misused, should I remove it and add appropriate tags? $\endgroup$
    – Del Pate
    May 21, 2015 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @DelPate I didn't want to give a negative slant to the hunt, so to speak, giving an idea that the tag was "bad" even when appropriate. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    May 21, 2015 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン and jonsca, I am confused regarding this. Is the tag valid there? $\endgroup$
    – Del Pate
    May 25, 2015 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ Not too sure, but I am tending to no. mole would be more appropriate, but that's the difficulty with (semi-)Meta tags... there is not always a straight answer. $\endgroup$ May 25, 2015 at 12:32

1 Answer 1


The examples provided that should or could have had the are equally well served by the better tag . Food chemistry is less a meta tag since it tells us what the question is about (the chemistry of foods and beverages), and it helps users find questions on similar topics. A user might be interested in the chemistry of foods, but not the chemistry of household cleaners, or paints, or whatever.

In cases where there is a more specific tag, then should not be used in favor of the more specific tag.

  • $\begingroup$ That's a great point. Those were just examples that I happened to dig out of my own edit history. Thanks Ben! $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    May 21, 2015 at 22:56

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