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I was trying to answer a question on the Van der Waals equation so I decided to look through the past questions to see what had already been answered. In searching for "Van der Waals" I got numerous "junk" hits that just casually mentioned the Van der Waals equation/model without providing any insight into it. So I decided to create a tag . Being the poor speller that I am, spelled behavor.

  1. Could someone with the magical power please fix the tag spelling?
    Or tell me what I need to do to fix this?

  2. I'm thinking that if I had replaced all the Van-der-Waals-behavor tags with tags that then both would stay in the system even though no questions were tagged with Van-der-Waals-behavor.

  3. When editing the tag information I got befuddled by the direction to use no markup. In retrospect it would seem to only apply to the top section which gives the "floating text" rather than the bottom section which gives the detailed explanation.

  4. Is there a way to flag a tag for deletion?
    I didn't mind doing the work to fix the four question with the misspelled tag, but I didn't want to leave a junk tag in the system which would cause confusion.

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    $\begingroup$ In general it's a good idea to run tag creation past meta first. Although I broadly agree in this case. My two cents: instead of something specific to the vdW model, it could be broadened to something like real-gases. We do have gas-laws, but that is a big tag and most are probably to do with ideal gas laws. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol May 7 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ If an admin wants to whack the tag and I need to propose the tag and then have a debate in meta fine. $\endgroup$ – MaxW May 7 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ ?!? @Loong seemed to make Van-der-Waals-behavor a synonym for Van-der-Waals-behavior. Now when you type in "van" into the tag box of a question both spellings popup. That is what I was trying to avoid. $\endgroup$ – MaxW May 7 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ @MaxW Renaming a tag roughly means creating a new tag, remapping the old synonym tag to the new target tag, and merging the tags. The old synonym tag was a leftover of this process; it should be deleted now. However, caching may make it look like the old tag still exists. $\endgroup$ – user7951 May 7 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ Related: How to rename a tag? $\endgroup$ – user7951 May 7 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ @MaxW Well there's not much point in deleting it and then recreating it. That's not what I meant. Just that sometimes it's useful to get a second opinion before going through with it. Same applies to me, I've gotten useful feedback on tags too. It's not a "hurr durr only mods can make new tags" thing! $\endgroup$ – orthocresol May 8 at 4:43
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In general I agree with what you did, but I also agree with orthocresol's comment. At the current size of the catalogue it is probably a good idea to run it past meta first, get one or two opinions and make the rest of us aware that there might be some retagging going on. (You can of course always also find advice in chat.)

Next I'd like to point to the help center about tagging. (If I can remember or find the "other" resource about tag deletion etc., I'll edit it here.)

That all being said, let's get to your questions:

  1. Could someone with the magical power please fix the tag spelling? Or tell me what I need to do to fix this?

In principle, you already can, see below. The question becomes whether you should, but I'll also explain that below.

  1. I'm thinking that if I had replaced all the Van-der-Waals-behavor tags with Van-der-Waals-behavior tags that then both would stay in the system even though no questions were tagged with Van-der-Waals-behavor.

That is a little bit correct and a little bit wrong. Abandoned tags will get cleared/purged from the system (iirc) around midnight-ish UTC. If you immediately change it when you notice the tag is missspelt, it might linger around. Sure, there could be occasions when an innocent user comes along and applies it again, but these are rather slimmish.
That's the procedure which is most common and I would recommend it for everything fewer than 5 (at most 10) edits. There is still one point to consider before doing it, I'll get to that below.

  1. When editing the tag information I got befuddled by the direction to use no markup. In retrospect it would seem to only apply to the top section which gives the "floating text" rather than the bottom section which gives the detailed explanation.

The tag wiki excerpt, this is the blurb you see when you hover over a tag, must be plain text. This should contain information to the usage of it.
The longer tag wiki entry can be the usual markdown. It should also include a little bit on usage, but some background info and resources, maybe co-tags, but that's entirely up to you. You can also leave it blank.
The tag wiki excerpt is more important, as it gives us (and the new) users a better idea when to apply it, especially when there are only a few questions yet tagged with it.

Special case: When you've went through all the trouble of creating the wiki entry, it might be a good idea to keep it alive. Still given there's a few uses only, you can manually copy it over, or contact the mods, again see below.

Is there a way to flag a tag for deletion? I didn't mind doing the work to fix the four question with the misspelled tag, but I didn't want to leave a junk tag in the system which would cause confusion.

See above (recursive cross reference ;p). Like I said, abandoned tags will be deleted, so there is no need to flag. The mods wouldn't do anything else than what you would do.


What else to consider? When should I flag?

Moderators can merge tags, they can rename tags, and they have access to abandoned tag wikis. For example, if we would like to change to , we can do it for the (currently) 700+ cases in one go. That comes in handy because it doesn't flush the front page (multiple times). So consider that for 10+ edits. Simply flag one of the questions with the tag, or open a meta post to discuss it first.

If a tag wiki gets lost in editing, we might be able to retrieve it. I don't know exactly how it works with renaming, and whether or not the wiki will be kept, but we can find that out when needed.

If you are unsure, ask. Here is a good place. If you're lucky you might find someone in chat who already knows the answer, too.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you!. // I puzzled a bit by When you've went through all the trouble of creating the wiki entry, it might be a good idea to keep it alive. -- I assume you mean copying wiki text from bad spelling to good spelling? i.e. not to lose wiki text on bad spelling since if the bad spelling tag was deleted then the wiki entries for it would be deleted too. $\endgroup$ – MaxW May 7 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ @MaxW Yes. If you create the new tag, copy it over. Once the tag is purged, only mods can try to find it. (And that is not much fun, because they are all called abandoned tag.) $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン May 7 at 19:51

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