I know it is early, but most of the tag-related questions asked thus far are about naming conventions to resolve duplicates. I am asking about conventions to resolve ambiguity.

For example, “Medicare” () may be the official name of the federal health agency in Australia, the unofficial name of the federal health system in Canada, or a government-supported health insurance system for senior citizens in the United States. It also appears to be the name of a private insurance scheme in the UK and a hospital system in South Africa among others. Obviously, questions about one of these programs are unrelated to questions about any other.

We could make the tags more specific, e.g. , or we could replace them with more generic ones, e.g. . For the time being, I tend to favor the latter, just as we have not or .

Some other tags which may represent different things in different countries include , , , and .

  • I'd prefer healtcare than medicare, because the first one is more 'speaking', but both should be generally understandable. But no matter which wins, we should make them synonymes to prevent tagging chaos.
    – user41
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's ambiguous as long as other tags are there.

I'd be in favour of making it - the important word coming first, IF we're going to be combining them. But otherwise, isn't just having the tag enough?

  • 2
    How would it possibly be enough? That defeats the entire purpose of tags; if the tag can have multiple meanings, it's no better than doing a full text search.
    – choster
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 3:07
  • 2
    well no, you look for multiple tags...
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 3:11
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    Your way of combining, say canada-medicare, if we were to consistently apply that, wouldn't we then do canada-visas on travel? But instead we have canada, and visas.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 3:12
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    I'm with Mark here, I don't see why [medicare][canada] is:question "blah blah blah doesn't work here?
    – user100
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 5:31
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    But then [healthcare][canada] works too and avoids the ambiguity. The issue is that there is not much in common between “medicare” in Canada and “medicare” in the US or “social security” in France and “social security” in the US. They just happen to share the same name, which is very different from the relationship between other questions sharing a tag.
    – Gala
    Commented Mar 19, 2014 at 7:54
  • I'd say both new specific tags and multiple tags are valid. You should have an answer for each, well thought out, and see what the votes say. You can't decide it in a thread of comments in a single answer. Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 21:38

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