A fraction of our tags describe what the kind of software that the user want, for instance "I need a XYZ that does this" or "Are there XYZs that do this?". My question here is only about them. Other tags describing environment/pricing/etc are covered by this question.

I analyzed exhaustively the first 3 pages of https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/tags and here are the results:

As you can see, singular seems to lead, even though the most popular () is plural.

  • Should we try to homogenize?
  • If yes, singular or plural?

1 Answer 1


I think such tags should be homogenized.

Whenever I say "Is there a XYZ that does this?", I could also say "Are there XYZs that do this?". So there is no case where one is better than the other, and we should just converge to singular which is the most common one.

Even though singulars are more common here per my analysis in the question (actually I created a lot of them, always as singular), it seems that plurals are more common on the whole SE network, see for instance Jeff's answer here: https://travel.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/336/tags-should-be-plurals-with-a-few-caveats

So my conclusion is that we should homogenize to plurals, like "libraries" and "games". Hopefully that will also make askers think more about whether they are asking for libraries, or about a library in particular. For instance, a person who asks for a Vim plugin will hopefully be more tempted to tag their question as "vim" than as "text-editors", whereas "text-editor" (singular) might have been equally tempting.

  • I'm good with consistency for tags. Homogenized is for milk. As to whether to use singular or plural, singular is better because it is shorter, but plural is better because it indicates that more than one answer is generally desirable. I'm good either way. Commented May 24, 2016 at 10:29

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