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I recently asked a question about a well known short story, "The Mezzotint". I tagged it with the author name and the name of the book in which it was first published, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. I note now that we also have a tag, which I didn't realise.

Anyway, it made me wonder how best to tag stand-alone stories that have gained traction under their own names. A lot of people would recognise the title of "The Mezzotint". Very few, though, would recognise Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. Not least because it's been republished in many, many other collections since then.

So how should we tag these stories? Using the story title and not the collection might be appropriate for "The Mezzotint", but it would be a poor fit for more modern collections which tend to stand together and don't gain fame as individual tales. But then, there is the chance they could appear in multiple collections. And since there is AFAIK a 5-tag limit if we throw in the author and short-stories too, we're going to run out of space.

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TL;DR: author tag and . No anthology tag unless the story's always there.

References:

  1. A proposal for [poetry] and [short-stories] (our policy on when to use vs per-story tags)
  2. Do we want anthology tags? (our policy on tags for collections/anthologies)

In general, for a question about a short story, we use the author tag and , not a tag for the individual story. The general policy[1] is to use individual-work tags if and only if the work is long enough to warrant them: novels yes, plays yes, long-form poems yes, short stories no, short poems no.

A collection or anthology of short stories, however, could be called a longer work. Such collections are often at least as big as a novel, so should we be using tags for them even if not for the individual stories? Well[2], that only makes sense if the particular story being asked about is always part of that anthology - if someone reads a story as part of one collection, it makes no sense for them to tag it with the tag for a totally different collection where the same story also appeared. And you said:

Very few, though, would recognise Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. Not least because [The Mezzotint]'s been republished in many, many other collections since then.

That means no, don't give it an anthology tag. And no tag for "The Mezzotint" either, since it's only a short story, even if a famous one. Just use the author tag and .

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