We currently have the tag , which has been tagged for a question about C. S. Lewis' novel The Dark Tower. However, there are several other literary works with the same title:

Should we replace the current tag with and later create similar tags when questions about the other works are submitted?

1 Answer 1


Per my answer here and the following discussion in comments, we should disambiguate the tag by adding the author's name to the tag name.

I think that a single book tag should refer only to a single book. It will be confusing to use the same tag for questions about different unrelated works which happen to share a title.

If tags should be a way of marking out a specific area of expertise, well, nobody's going to be an expert on "all books entitled The Art of War", but someone could well be an expert on Sun Tzu's The Art of War or on Niccolo Macchiavelli's The Art of War.

How do we handle tagging when multiple unrelated books have the same title?

A simple solution would be to add the author name into the tag name. Then we could have questions tagged with and and so on.

This was implemented in that case by renaming the existing tag to .

The only question here, then, is whether we should use or . Any thoughts on this?

  • I would actually prefer to use the publication date. The simple reason is it's easier to tell with a glance that oh, hey, this extra bit at the end is for disambiguating two tags with the same name, because the characters are numbers, not letters
    – user111
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 22:09
  • @Hamlet That's a fair argument. But in the linked meta post, everyone seemed to be in favour of using the author rather than date. (Also, it's easy for books like Lewis's "The Dark Tower", but does e.g. Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" even have a known publication date? I don't think so.)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 22:13
  • As far as I can tell, in the linked meta post, you present a range of solutions but don't favor a single one. There is one comment saying that they would prefer a specific solution, but I wouldn't say that's evidence of "everyone being in favor".
    – user111
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 22:14
  • Personally, my opinion is: why not try both on the main site and see what people like. No one reads meta unless there's something to complain about, anyway--this would make sure that there are more opinions being offered about the decision.
    – user111
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 22:15
  • @Hamlet Yes, that's why I refer to not only my answer but also the comments on it. Everyone who commented, plus whoever upvoted those comments, favoured author over date for the tag name, and nobody said they'd prefer date over author (until you on this post just now). It's not a super-strong consensus, granted, but we can't expect much more on a site this small.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 22:16
  • @Hamlet Wouldn't a tag like the-dark-tower-lewis show up in a search for "Lewis"? That wouldn't work with the publication date as part of the tag.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 19:49

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