I'm not interested in the history of how this got through and was made, but it has done a fairly successful job as a tag:

  • 13 questions currently tagged; more or less, it does make sense on them.
  • No serious mistags observed (Depends on how we look at it though)
  • There's some expectation of future use for this tag; no one has thought of burninating it.

However, as this question made me wonder,

  • Currently there are 158 results, searching for smell.
  • A small check proves some of them are only about smells, and the most recent question suffers from lack of good tags.
  • A could do the same to these questions, just as does.

Now, this is a tough choice. These are not really chemistry-oriented tags. They don't look like meta tags to me either - They do tell something about the question. And we have five senses: Taste, sight, sound, touch and smell.

I even can imagine plausible chem questions for each possible tag:

  1. Smell: What causes the old book smell?1
  2. Touch: Why does my skin feel itchy when I touch plant X?
  3. Sight: I saw a bright blue light when I reacted Y with Z. What was that I observed?
  4. Sound: What was the squeaking sound when I heated A in the beaker?
  5. Taste: What compounds exist in the bitter peel of specific fruits?2

Now, as I'm totally a molecule, I might not understand human senses, specially those of chemists'. A tag for smell might be a good idea, but there's a big potential of misuse in and , alongside the fact that these can really be treated as meta tags.

Now, what should we do?

  • Create one new tag for smell?
  • Burninate ?
  • Create one big tag for all of the human senses?
  • Create four more tags for five senses, separately?
  • Upvote this meta discussion? $$\vdots$$

Have your say, and thanks for reading!

1: Shameless self-advertisement here.
2: See one.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ IMO we should have tags as needed. We shouldn't create tags because we think they may be wanted in the future, we should create them when questions which warrant them arrive. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


Hmm, let's see what advantages and disadvantages are to each option.

Create one new tag for smell


  • There are a lot of questions that can benefit from having this new tag, as isn't helpful at all in categorizing them.
  • This is less a meta tag than .
  • This is the only popular sense here other than .


  • Having tags for only two senses outta five might make our tagging system look incomplete and unreasonable.
  • Unicorns.



  • We'd have fewer headaches with all this meta discussion. Senses aren't really chemistry.
  • It'd follow the all or nothing rule. More harmonizing as tags for senses will be forbidden.
  • As it's only 13 questions tagged with taste, the loss might just not be really drastic and big.


  • 13 questions currently tagged with this tag will miss a good and relevant tag.

Create one big tag for all of the human senses


  • Instead of little little tags we'd have a universal tag.
  • This also follows the all or nothing rule - The tagging system might look neater.
  • Followers of this tag can find questions easier; as this is generally about humanoid perception of things they observe, more generally.


  • This would become a meta tag; its description of what questions it contains is really vague.

Create four more tags for a collection of five tags


  • has done good; with a little bit caring, these tags could do the same too.
  • Follows the all or nothing rule.


  • and might become extraordinarily misused tags. Basically, all the questions rise because you saw or heard something.
  • hasn't had questions it could reasonably be applied to, not that I have seen. It might just be created and sit there, with no use and benefit.

So, I vote for one. I don't have anything in mind for reconsidering the tags' scope though.

So, what are your two cents on this? Which one do you choose? Any more options you recommend? Any scope redefining?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Agreed - create Smell. Sight and sound have such an intuitive place in the human experience - I agree with the potential for misuse. The question I saw a bright blue light when... should be tagged luminescence or something else we don't have. Color is not good enough for that one. $\endgroup$
    – Ben Norris
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 13:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Taste is okay. Smell is okay. For sight we have optical-properties and there might be more and better describing ones. I cannot see any application in touch and sound. Having a tag for one sense should not imply having tags for all senses. Tags without use are automatically destroyed. Unless we have good questions that would benefit from having new tags, we should refrain from creating any more. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 18:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do we add 'umami' as well, or leave that for Seasoned Advice? Kind of joking here, but more agreeing with add tags only as necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 14:48

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