Should we use

There is discussion of this on other SE sites and their metas, but no clear consensus as far as I can tell.

Whichever type we prefer, should the other be allowed, and made a synonym?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The poll got deleted. Please voice your opinions by posting and/or voting for answers. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 0:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I prefer the pluralized versions. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Please consider adding Tags: tag-creation, ambiguous-tags, and maybe tag-synonyms - and at some point one of us copy/paste the excerpt/wiki. $\endgroup$
    – Rob
    Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 2:54

2 Answers 2


I would prefer the plural

This is also the way Wikipedia lists categories. For example, looking up heuristic reveals the categories: heuristics, problem solving methods.

While it is no big deal, using the plural for the examples given by the OP reads a bit more natural in my opinion. I am not sure we need to make the singular form a synonym and would propose to not go that extra mile.


Previously we had a problem with tags that differed by only a hyphen, but that problem was coded away. With singular vs. plural it's more difficult to code a solution, so it's important to create the initial tag appropriately to avoid lengthy cleanups in the future.

Searching main Meta for guidance may be a challenge but the extra work involved for leaving it open is clear; it's resulted in creation of the clean-up tag and a few questions:

Generally, under the rules of specificity, collective and count nouns, measure words, etc., the grammatical number would be unmarked; the duality is inferred by the usage, unless the word always takes the singular or plural form (examples: glasses, pants, or scissors - the singular and plural forms have different meanings).

See also English Language and Usage - Search grammatical-number tags.

The policy on main Meta and Stack Overflow is:

If there's any advantageous reason to be different another answer should explain that.


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