The tag only has one legitimate usage but I consistently see it misused for questions about IUPAC nomenclature (such as this recent example). Is it really a necessary tag? I seem to spend far too much time removing it from questions where it is unwarranted.

Editorial note: There are two answers, one for deleting the tag and one for keeping the tag. Please upvote only one. Downvotes will not be counted. As of now any existing votes have been unlocked by an edit.
2016-05-07: Keep has got 14 upvotes; Delete has got 4 upvotes. Voting closed. (Please open a new meta discussion if necessary.)

  • $\begingroup$ Appears it was originally intended as a tag for questions about IUPAC itself... are such questions even on-topic for the site at present? My impression is that they're not. $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Mar 18, 2016 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ One source of the problem may be that someone logically thinks there might be an "iupac-nomenclature" tag. They start typing, and at "iu" the suggestions reduce to "equilibrium" "atomic-radius" and "iupac". Though the help description discourages it, the only guidance it gives is "the appropriate tag should be applied", without saying what tag would be "appropriate". -- Put yourself in the shoes of a new user of the site. We shouldn't require question askers to have an encyclopedic knowledge of valid tags - the appropriate tags should pop up "automatically". $\endgroup$
    – R.M.
    Mar 18, 2016 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ @R.M. I agree with you - tags should pop up automatically. Often they don't, but that's not really an issue. I learned about nomenclature much earlier than I learned about the IUPAC, hence I would assume, that at least 90% of the nomenclature questions use the correct tag straight away. The rest we can easily deal with. $\endgroup$ May 7, 2016 at 12:21

2 Answers 2


First of all let me state, that I really dislike the word "burninate". Especially for this situation, where you seem to have a just cause.

Secondly, I am very, very strongly against deleting the tag. I was once under the impression, that the tag is essentially the same as the nomenclature tag.
The usage explicitly states that the tag shall not be applied for nomenclature:

This tag should be applied to questions about the organisation IUPAC. For questions about nomenclature the appropriate tag should be applied.

There will always be the misuse of tags, that is simply something we cannot avoid. I think there are generally only very, very few questions on this site, that do not get edited. The example question you linked certainly had a lot of potential for editing. The removal of a wrong tag is then just a minor inconvenience.
If a users do not want to read the guidance, than we cannot force them in any way. But at least this way there is a guidance. In this way we might avoid one or two mistags.

While you might delete that tag, it may not be gone forever. The problem in this scenario are users that are still quite new, but have gathered enough reputation (300) to create tags. Many of them will not read this discussion or the one linked, and have a different understanding of the generic "IUPAC", they might be inclined to create this tag again.
If the tag is removed, any of tag-wiki is gone, leaving the tag in a state where it has to be cleaned up. You don't gain anything by removing the tag from the system. (You may want to have an occasional look at the new tags to understand what tags are sometimes created. In many occasions there are some cringe worthy ones.)

In short, I want to keep the tag, but it is a community decision.

Upvote this post if you want to keep the tag.

  • $\begingroup$ I've upvoted both this and the one above. What does it mean? (This isn't a homework question) $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 18, 2016 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, I didn’t know to burninate had an actual meaning. I thought it was just a neologism to strengthen to burn. I shall stop using it immediately =O $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Mar 20, 2016 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ Bah, come on! Burninate has its own meaning in SE meta. It means "eating a tag with extreme prejudice". $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 21, 2016 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Fair point. It seems like we might let it live. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Mar 21, 2016 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ Could it be renamed to iupac-nomenclature for clarity? $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2016 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ @PeeyushKushwaha No, since that would be the opposite of what the tag would actually stand for. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2016 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン The nomenclature tag. That way it would appear in the list when a user types in "iupac" as well as they type "nomenclature" $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2016 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @PeeyushKushwaha True, but not all nomenclature refers to IUPAC recommendations. There might be other ones, like journal specific ones. Or newly introduced, or unclear/ erroneous nomenclature. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2016 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ This seems to be fairly conclusive. I will accept this as the answer. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    May 7, 2016 at 15:16

Upvote this post, if you want to delete the tag.

Do not downvote this post, if you want to let remain alive and think deleting it is a bad idea. Upvote the other post instead.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Upvoted 'cause too lazy to retag $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Mar 17, 2016 at 6:32
  • $\begingroup$ I'll give this a few days and then go ahead with whatever is decided. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Mar 17, 2016 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ Dear downvoter; have you really read the content of the answer before downvoting; if it were so; then you would not have downvoted. For future voters, if you are against deleting the tag; then upvote Mart's answer and not downvote it and please read the content before voting. $\endgroup$
    – user5764
    Mar 22, 2016 at 5:21

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