We currently have both a tag and a tag.

The tag currently has one question, namely about whether the language used by a 15-year old character intentionally represents the language of a 15-year old (Kafka in Kafka on the Shore).

The tag currently has four questions:

For additional background:

  • Wheeler defines style as

    The author's words and the characteristic way that writer uses language to achieve certain effects. An important part of interpreting and understanding fiction is being attentive to the way the author uses words. What effects, for instance, do word choice and sentence structure have on a story and its meaning? How does the author use imagery, figurative devices, repetition, or allusion? (...)

  • For "voice", Wheeler refers the reader to poetic speaker:

    The narrative or elegiac voice in a poem (such as a sonnet, ode, or lyric) that speaks of his or her situation or feelings. It is a convention in poetry that the speaker is not the same individual as the historical author of the poem. (...)

Language (in literature) is more than just "style" (Dickensian style, journalistic style, ...), it also encompasses tone and mood:

  • According to Wheeler, tone is

    The means of creating a relationship or conveying an attitude or mood. By looking carefully at the choices an author makes (in characters, incidents, setting; in the work's stylistic choices and diction, etc.), careful readers often can isolate the tone of a work and sometimes infer from it the underlying attitudes that control and color the story or poem as a whole. The tone might be formal or informal, playful, ironic, optimistic, pessimistic, or sensual. (...) Note that in poetry, tone is often called voice.

  • He defines mood as

    In literature, a feeling, emotional state, or disposition of mind--especially the predominating atmosphere or tone of a literary work. Most pieces of literature have a prevailing mood, but shifts in this prevailing mood may function as a counterpoint, provide comic relief, or echo the changing events in the plot. The term mood is often used synonymously with atmosphere and ambiance. (...)

Based on this, I would retag the Kafka question with the tag. At the moment, I don't see why any of the above questions would need a tag. The language tag can be re-introduced later, should the need occur.


1 Answer 1


My immediate reaction is that is a terrible name for a tag. Not because the concept of language isn't one we should be discussing here (it is!), or that it doesn't have a clear definition in the context of literature (it may well do), but because it would almost certainly end up being misused. It's a common word in everyday speech, and people would be using it for questions on , or on books about language, or on the use of foreign languages in this or that story, or on made-up languages in literature, or on stories which happen to involve multiple languages, probably more often than for questions on language (style, mood, tone, ...) in the literary sense.

So yes, retag the single question to .

(In fact, this has already been done long before I wrote this answer.)

Although I upvoted your question, I'd also agree with @Hamlet that this didn't really need a meta post. It's a simple single-question edit, you have enough rep to edit (even if not, you could've suggested the edit for others to approve), and it's unlikely to be controversial. Just go ahead and do it; the edit can always be rolled back if necessary, and if it does become controversial, we could bring the issue to meta then. A single edit seems like a very minor issue to ask about on meta :-)

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