I had a gold tag badge in 'uk', but it appears to have become confounded (recently) with the 'united-kingdom' tag badge, where I have been given a bronze tag badge. Apparently this occurred by some synonym legerdemain, possibly well-intended.

Technically I understand how this could happen. These tags are merely string literals and have no intrinsic relationships to each other. It means that a 'united-kingdom' tag is not "aware" that it is a political entity, in fact it could be 'cheese-sandwich' and still have the same function from a technical point of view.

But logically, the 'uk' and 'united-kingdom' cannot be meaningfully segregated. Sure, you can add that 'uk' is an abbreviation, but then you have to admit that 'united-kingdom' is also a shortening of 'united kingdom of great britain and northern island'. The tags are not significantly different from a logical point of view.

But from the same 'logical' point of view, somebody can know a lot about the 'uk' and be a total noob with 'united-kingdom'. This doesn't make sense does it?

I have been predicting that 2016 will see two TSE regulars getting the gold 'usa' tag badge (Mark and Karlson). But they will be complete noobs in 'united-states'. Next in the queue is 'Relaxed' who will get the gold 'europe' tag in about 2017, but then from a logical point of view he will know nothing at all about the 'eu'! User 'Willeke' will likely get a gold 'netherlands' badge in 2018/2019, but then know nothing about 'holland'. Yeah, right...

Those tag badges are an asset to the site because they can be used to mark duplicates with immediate effect and thus help prevent bloat and scope creep. A question that is tagged 'united-kingdom' can easily be a duplicate of a question tagged 'uk', but the molynir cannot be used because the OP picked 'united-kingdom' and the system only awards tag points on what the OP originally selected. And please note that a gold tag badge is arguably the highest award given by the site; they are ridiculously hard to get (bordering upon lunacy) and they evidence not only command of the subject matter but also a degree of commitment to the site in general.

What is the solution to this? Should Mark and Karlson automatically get the 'united-states' badge when the 'usa' badge is awarded? Or is the whole issue part of "WHAT IS" and we should just get on with it?

  • Also, this question had two (2) views in less than a minute, my suspicion that these initial two views are not provenanced in human activity grows stronger.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 6:13
  • I contend the non-human assumption ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 6:48
  • @MarkMayo I have you down as number 4.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


The correct answer is that the two tags should be made synonyms - whichever is preferred being the main tag, and the other tag a synonym of it. and should not exist as separate tags, nor should and .

It looks like this has since been fixed, as your main user has a gold badge in , and the two tags are now synonyms (with being primary).

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