I have recently attempted to create the obvious tag synonym 'dg-algebras' <--- 'differential-graded-algeb'. However, my attempt was thwarted by the system's insistence that I need five total score (i.e. total upvotes minus downvotes) in the tag 'dg-algebras' to suggest the synonym, and I do not have it.

My feeling is that a lot of, if not most, synonyms are needed in fairly small tags where very few people actually have any votes (e.g. 'dg-algebras'). So the five score limit for suggesting synonyms appears rather counter-productive, especially since most people who do have the required score are unlikely to be working on suggesting synonyms at least for now. Moreover, only users with more than 2500 reputation can suggest vote for synonyms.

In conclusion, I have a few questions.

  1. Preliminary question 1: How much, and what kind of discussion is required before creating a tag synonym? This question is relevant for discussing the main questions below.

  2. Preliminary question 2: Is there any expectation that as the community becomes more familiar with the framework of the stack exchange network, and specifically tag synonyms, the users with the necessary tag score will start adding these synonyms? I am personally not convinced at this time.

  3. Procedural question: Should I instead always make a request at meta.mathoverflow (for example, in the thread Help improve tagging!) when I want to add a synonym like the above? This procedure would appear to forego some (most?) possible benefits of allowing users to suggest synonyms. On the other hand, it would impose a minimum level of discussion before creating a tag synonym.

  4. Main question (or feature request): Can we simply remove the requirement of a total score of 5 in the tag for suggesting synonyms? Should we? We could maybe even keep that requirement (as it is now) for users to vote on the suggested synonyms.

Some relevant meta.stackoverflow threads

Here is the most immediately relevant meta.stackoverflow thread, Remove tag score requirement for suggesting synonyms, which makes a similar request to the one I am making.

Also, here is a thread describing some of the relevant inadequacies of the tag synonym system: Remove the tag synonym suggestions entirely. It mostly describes how the requirements of the tag synonym system appear to make the suggestion process useless, and suggests scrapping it entirely. Further, it also advocates that all non-trivial synonyms (a typical example of "trivial" being plural forms) should be discussed on meta beforehand. Do people here agree with this last point?



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