We have a few questions about the selection of particular words in a phrase or poem. Examples:

Language in A View from the Bridge

What is the rhetorical purpose of the description of Miss Emily?

Since we do tag sub-topics within literature with things like "character-analysis", I'm thinking it might be useful and appropriate to have a tag for questions like these.

Apparently the literate term for this is "lexis" but I reckon it best if we just stick with the much more user friendly "word-choice".

Thoughts? Happy to do the tagging myself if it's agreed as a good idea.

  • 1
    Apropos of nothing, congrats on 4k rep! It's great to have more people with Trusted User powers :-D
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 12:24
  • 1
    @Randal'Thor Thanks. I've nearly got as much rep here in a year as it's taken me 8 years to accrue on SO. Now I just need to find some way to abuse my new privileges!
    – Matt Thrower Mod
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 13:17
  • 1
    I've gone ahead and created a tag called wording-choice to add it to these questions. I'll leave the tag wiki to you :-)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 12:24
  • @Randal'Thor thanks, have edited the wiki and added a few more questions to the tag.
    – Matt Thrower Mod
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 9:04

2 Answers 2


In principle, yes, there should be a tag for this as there could be many useful questions in this regard.

However, I'm not convinced that is a good name for it. It implies the choice of a single word, not the phraseology of a passage. Maybe something like , which I admit can probably be improved upon.

Alternatively, go with to be accurate, then, if other ways of stating it come up, synonymise the tags to point at the master.

  • 4
    How about wording-choice? "Wording" doesn't necessarily suggest just a single word.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 16:19
  • @rand-althor maybe choice-of-words ? We just need to pick one and I'll get tagging
    – Matt Thrower Mod
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 22:17
  • I vote for wording-choice. That covers individual words and entire turns of phrase. "Lexis" to me means the law library, and some people are going to think it's a typo for the automotive brand. Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 10:55

I recommend replacing with this new tag. Meaning is an incredibly vague tag, so vague that it's used inconsistently and doesn't really have any real purpose. Word choice or whatever you choose to go with seems like a more specific alternative.

I also recommend starting with a few questions, and seeing if the tag catches on first.

You must log in to answer this question.

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