Motivated by Stefan's prompt reaction to Rename {script} to {scripts}, I went through the first five pages of tags looking for singular tags to pluralize, once again with the question Our set of tags in mind:

The following kinds of tags are recommended:

Whenever I wasn't sure if a tag could or should be pluralized, I tried to put it in a sentence: "This question is about {tag}" (without any articles!). If singular sounds sensible, it won't be included in my list here.

So I propose to rename the following singular tags to their respective plural form and make the singular tag a synonym of the plural tags. (Updated list in accordance with the discussion)

I'm not sure what our policy on creating synonyms is; if we only create synonyms when they become necessary, we can probably skip most of the synonyms (not renamings) proposed above. If we create synonyms preventively, then let's roll!


As tags can't be crossed out with <s>, I'll list the declined proposals down here so that we'll only have the "good" proposals above:

  • (further advantage: it'll be clearer that this tag is not only about the color package, but about any color-related questions)
  • to /
  • and (not sure)

is a tag that could be pluralized but I don't think it would be appropriate because it (usually) deals with paper size as an abstract property of a single document and not with e.g. comparing A4 to letter paper.

  • I usually flag the question with "Request to implement retagging proposal". – lockstep Dec 10 '11 at 18:13

I renamed as suggested by the updated proposals. Synonyms can be created if such tags would reappear, for now I did not add synonyms. For example, is not really needed as a synonym to , as it is too similar. Auto-completion of tags helps to hit the right one. Other more obvious choices such as might be made a synonym at some time.


opposed to pluralizing index to indices because "indices" has the alternate meaning in a math context of sub- and superscripts. if you want to use indexes though, that's okay (even if not elegant).

width and height are concepts; the plurals are specifics. i think these should stay as they are.

  • Yes, that's the use I was referring to also. – Alan Munn Dec 8 '11 at 23:09
  • 1
    @AlanMunn and barbara: I just noticed it should probably be {math-operators} and not {mathoperators} since math and operators would usually be separated by a space, right? – doncherry Dec 10 '11 at 17:41
  • Yes. I would agree. – Alan Munn Dec 10 '11 at 17:43
  • @doncherry -- also agree. if using strictly tex lingo, it would be mathop, but math-operators is much more clear. – barbara beeton Dec 10 '11 at 20:11

I've made this an answer since it's a bit long for a comment.

I'm strongly against pluralizing "color", which is normally a mass noun, and should remain so. The same objection holds for "width" and "height". The confusion with a package name could be better solved by adding a -pkg suffix.

If index is to be pluralized it should be "indexes" and not "indices" which I would bet most people don't use. In fact, in my field, "indices" means something else.

documentclass should remain the same too, because it matches what people type in the source; if we want to pluralize it, it should then be "document classes".

  • Thanks for your input, a native speaker's advice on such matters is always helpful. Does this mean, you agree with pluralizing the other tags? – doncherry Dec 8 '11 at 22:27
  • Yes, unless, as @lockstep mentions there independent arguments against doing so for well established tags. But plural tags do generally make sense for nouns that are regularly countable in English. – Alan Munn Dec 8 '11 at 22:44
  • I took {color}, {height} and {width} off the list. So what about {indexes}? I can't really judge if it is odd enough to justify exemption from the plural-tag rule. As for {document-classes}, I'd say this version would be good. Just like there is no tag {usepackage}, we could go for the "specific topics" here as well. – doncherry Dec 9 '11 at 14:59
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    {index} could be replaced with {indexing} instead and avoid the whole "indexes"/"indices" issue. – Alan Munn Dec 9 '11 at 19:01

While I don't have a strong opinion about singular v. plural tag names in general, I'd rather not rename the tag because there's already a bronze tag badge for it.

  • 1
    Wouldn't that badge just be renamed, too? If not, shouldn't it be that way? – doncherry Dec 8 '11 at 22:23
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    @doncherry: The old badge would presumably be revoked, and a new badge with new ID and new "order of award" would be created. – lockstep Dec 8 '11 at 22:27
  • Meta Stack Exchange confirms that: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/87506/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/85164/…. So from that point of view, I wouldn't mind renaming the color tag, but Alan provided a different reason not to do so. I'll cross it off my list. Asking you as the god of tagging: You don't mind renaming any of the tags which haven't been opposed in this discussion so far? – doncherry Dec 9 '11 at 14:44
  • @doncherry: Leave {color}, {width}, and {height} alone. Adopt {document-classes} and {external-files}. Not sure about the rest (note: {indexes} are sound as a concept, but the plural really looks odd.) – lockstep Dec 9 '11 at 19:00
  • {indexing} is nice, though. – lockstep Dec 10 '11 at 11:00

Whilst unifying the format of tags seems like a good idea, the tags are intended to be somewhat ad hoc. Pluralising them in many cases will not break them, but in certain cases like index -> indexes or indices (I didn't even know indexes was a word until today) it simply confuses matters. Thus my opinion is; if the pluralised tag is just as obvious as the original, and unambiguous, then by all means make the change. In any other case,

If it ain't broke; don't fix it!

  • 4
    There's definitely some merit to this idea. But I think the aim is to make tags grammatical words in English, and countable singulars are not. As an alternative to "indexes" which seems to be somewhat controversial, we could replace "index" with "indexing" which is just as clear, and completely grammatical. – Alan Munn Dec 9 '11 at 19:00
  • 1
    I'm on board with "indexing" for that case. That's a nice solution. Nevertheless I think that it's more important to be obvious than grammatically correct. – qubyte Dec 10 '11 at 4:19

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