I have recently earned the ability to add Tags but I am hesitant to do so without some guidance on what kind of Tags would be useful and acceptable and what kind of Tags would simply be noise.

I was considering adding Tags for principle WW2 commanders and personalities but I don't know if the volume of questions that might be tagged with them would justify doing so. For instance, I was considering adding some or all of these: Dwight-Eisenhower, Douglas-MacArthur, Omar-Bradley, George-Patton, Anthony-McAuliffe, Chester-Nimitz, William-Halsey, Ernest-King, Jack-Fletcher, Raymond-Spruance, Hermann-Göring, Heinrich-Himmler, Albert-Speer, Martin-Bormann, Rudolph-Hess, Adolf-Eichmann, Reinhard-Heydrich, Erwin-Rommel, Alfred-Jodl, Karl-Dönitz, Bernard-Montgomery, Hugh-Dowding, Harold-Alexander, Louis-Mountbatten, Hideki-Tojo, Isoroku-Yamamoto, Georgy-Zhukov, Ivan-Konev, Aleksandr-Vasilevsky…

My potential WWII personality Tag list was growing quite large in my mind and I debated the usefulness of starting to add these kind of Tags.

So I raise the question here... how many Tags are too many Tags, would any of these be useful?

  • 2
    BTW: Welcome the HistorySE-meta! Thx for asking here first before going ahead with such a big action. Much appreciated. Sep 3, 2018 at 13:42
  • 1
    Relevant post from previous meta discussion. To summarise, there's a limited number of space for tags, so we need to prioritised. Since a primary goal is to group questions together for ease of searches, tags are most useful for subjects that can be phrased in different ways; e.g. international-relations. Thus, in my opinion, proper nouns should have a lower priority because there is little functional difference between searching for Eisenhower, and searching for [Eisenhower], except that the latter will be missing from some questions.
    – Semaphore
    Sep 12, 2018 at 23:49
  • @Semaphore - thanks, understand. But as of this morning I'm confused because the Eisenhower tag you removed from a post (which I had added yesterday), has reappeared today and I got a Rep increase for it (?) I didn't put it back but somehow it's there again and it credits me with the re-tag? Just curious. If it isn't supposed to be there, I didn't do it!
    – Kerry L
    Sep 13, 2018 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


Let's clear up some concepts:

"Adding a tag" can mean two things:

  1. Adding an existing tag to a question, or re-tagging
  2. Adding a non-existing to a question, or tag creation

Looking through the existing tags reveals that there are a few tags for individual persons: like Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler; but not for Dwight Eisenhower or your other suggestions.

What you seem to have in mind is therefore more like case 2: adding newly created tags to the system and some individual questions?

Generally there are a few pointers for general advice on how to use tags here:

What are tags, and how should I use them?

As a general rule, you should avoid creating new tags if possible, and new users are not allowed to create new tags. Even if you have sufficient reputation, you should only create new tags when you feel you can make a strong case that your question covers a new topic that nobody else has asked about before on this site.

Here on History Help Center.
Then there are the network wide meta posts:

How do I correctly tag my questions?

Try not to create new tags. If you create a new tag, that tag is guaranteed not to help your question show up on any subscribed RSS feeds or interesting tag lists. Again, the look-ahead prompt can help with this. Odds are it also means you're missing an existing tag for that topic that would more accurately categorize your question.


Retagging a question is making any edit to a question that changes the tags.

Do not retag a question if you are not going to add value to the question information by doing so. Do retag questions to use well-known and popular tags that are appropriate for the question.

Why do we tag questions?

Tags connect experts with questions they will be able to answer. If you tag your SQL Server question 'mssql' instead of 'sql-server', odds are it won't get as much attention and may not get a great answer, because frequent users who use SQL Server have favorited the 'sql-server' tag. They know to watch the sql-server tag for questions they can answer, but are not necessarily watching for mssql. A good rule of thumb is that any tag used less than 10 times is probably wrong, and any major language or product tag used less than 100 times is also probably wrong.

Tags are for sorting your question into specific, well-defined categories. Each tag should by itself refer to a specific category. If a tag only makes sense when used in combination with another tag (like '2005' with 'sql-server', 'visual' with 'studio', or '3.5' with '.net'), it's a meta tag.

The above does not mean that you should refrain from creating and adding tags at all. It does mean that you should exercise frugality and minimalism when creating tags.

It is therefore indeed not a good idea to now go on a spree and re-tag-create every question you see might fit. Also for reasons of those questions then all bouncing to the top of the homepage, cluttering the 'really active' posts: questions that are being posed and answered.

As a rule of thumb I'd suggest here that if there are three or better yet five separate questions that would benefit from such a tag you might go ahead with it. I am undecided whether all of your personalities should receive a tag, some may not be that important (yet?) on this site to justify such actions, some might already have such a tag.

Keep in mind that just because a person is connected to the question or a possible answer does not mean the name should appear as a tag then. Tags are to best describe and categorize questions. If that is achieved with a person's name-tag, then do it. Otherwise you might just add another appropriate tag, change one to a better fitting one or leave the existing ones in place. If a post does not already have five tags, chances are high the question might benefit from another tag or two.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .