Lately I found out that the tag is used for "beauty purposes" and also for making up leeway or missed worships like prayer and fast.

My question is how to deal with such ambiguous tags (I guess there might be more)?

A first step IMO would be to create a new tag (any good suggestions how to call them? in the given example maybe qada', qaza' for worships, as make-up at first view seems to me related to beauty?), separate or delete the "wrong" tag then create a tag wiki for each.

Update: I noticed that there's a tag with a synonym so moving those make-up prayers would fit for that, but not for fast/sawm.

As far as I could see this ambivalent or ambiguous usage has started long ago. But on the other hand there are only a few posts, so a correction wouldn't take much time.

Maybe some of you would say keep it as is, so please let me know what do you think?


Unfortunately this is about English. Even if you move all "make-up" tag questions from prayer and fast, new users or unfamiliar user to tag will use "make-up" for these topic. We can't change language. We can expand "make-up" tag as "wear-make-up" but users will not instantly adapt for that. And same problem, new users and unfamiliar user will use tags as they use in their daily language.

And yes, English is not my mother tongue.


In this particular case, "makeup" (without the hyphen) is synonymous with "cosmetics" while "make-up" (with the hyphen) is a compound adjective, e.g., "make-up prayer". And "make up" is an action "I want to make up a prayer".

Update: I've manually edited out the tag. Please use (for the stuff you put on your face) or (for catch-up prayers) instead.

The "make-up fast" questions can be just tagged ("fast"):

If, as the site develops, we require a "sawm-qada" tag, or something like that, we can add it without it being a big deal.

Useful actions:

  • Manually edit. I.e., go through the posts one by one, getting rid of it. When doing this, we should simultaneously polish the content of the post.

    This is probably the best method, and with having 9 questions, it's not too much of a problem to edit them individually (it's on my to-do list).

    This is suitable if the tag is only used under 20 or so times, otherwise it's too disruptive (and might be worth an individual meta post).

  • Synonymize. Make the tag a synonym of the tag which it is most frequently used as a synonym of. (And manually fix the others.) E.g. Let's make "charity" a synonym of "sadaqah"?. This also prevents future attempts to use the tag, since it will be replaced by it's "master" tag.

    This method is currently largely dysfunctional (due to lack of active and sufficiently high-reputation users), except with diamond moderator intervention.

  • Edit the tag wiki excerpt. We can (and should) add descriptions as to how tags should be used, along with identifying appropriate alternative tags, to their tag wiki excerpts:

    Provide basic guidance on when to use the tag. In other words, what kinds of questions should have this tag?

    Very few tags have appropriate tag wiki excerpts currently. has a reasonable tag wiki excerpt: "Questions about or that apply specifically to women."

Probably-more-trouble-than-they're-worth actions:

  • Burninate the tag, i.e., remove the tag from all posts. See When to burninate and What does it mean to "burninate" a tag? This is useful for widely used meta tags (like "homework").

    It seems this needs StackExchange moderators. (The word "burninate" also seems to be used to mean "manually edit" above.)

  • Blacklist the tag. Then the software will refuse to add that tag to questions. This is probably more appropriate for meta tags (see The Death of Meta Tags) which come up frequently, but which are useless.

    It seems this needs StackExchange moderators (see meta.SE).

An alert community should be able to quickly remove a previously removed tag if it comes back. So these things should be unnecessary.

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