Should tags use abbreviations where they are common?

For example I was thinking of tagging the Banded Iron Formation question "BIF" but thought that might be a bit obscure. On the other hand, banded-iron-formation is a long tag. Similarly MORB is a generally accepted acronym where the parent is long winded (mid-ocean-ridge-basalt).

I notice we have some meteorology abbreviations creeping in the tags. Not being a meteorologist, these are a foreign language. I'm sure the meteorologists think the same of BIF and MORB!

I think this is a good case for tag synonyms, but which should we prefer?


2 Answers 2


I think tag synonyms should exist for all of the common abbreviations, though there is some argument to be had as to which should be the primary and which the synonym (I tend toward making the acronym the synonym).

I wouldn't worry about other disciplines being confused about acronyms. It is correct as a meteorologist I have no idea what BIF or MORB mean, but that also means I am probably not qualified to answer those questions anyway.


I think abbreviations are an important part of the professional language, thus it is worth using them. I agree with casey that we should always have the long / short version linked as synonyms. Deciding which version should be the primary should be based on normal linguistic usage from domain experts. An example from meteorology when to use the abbreviation would be a "WRF" tag, as I would always say or type "WRF" instead of "The Weather Research & Forecasting Model".

As we are a multi disciplinary group we should always include the discipline tag (e.g. meteorology), to make filtering easier.


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