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Mar 1, 2011, 4:45am Top

I just wanted to explain why I suggested some tag separations. I suggested separating first/last name from last name tags, because I saw that people did not want to combine in other first/last name tags. This is the case for Beethoven (http://www.librarything.com/tag/Beethoven) and Godel (http://www.librarything.com/tag/Godel). I have no strong opinion on combining or separating here, but I think we should decide on one of these options, because the current situation is a bit strange.

Mar 1, 2011, 6:18am Top

And the same goes for Derrida (http://www.librarything.com/tag/Derrida)

Mar 1, 2011, 7:08pm Top

I agree, there needs to be some kind of consensus about this. People won't vote yes to combine first/last name tags with last name tags, and yet it seems they also don't want to seperate the ones that already are combined. It's frustrating.

Edited: Mar 1, 2011, 10:18pm Top

I'll vote yes to combine these most of the time if it's brought to my attention. I've now voted for all the combinations and against all the separations.

ETA: That is if it's a household name. I'm not familiar with Derrida so I'm not voting on that one.

Edited: Mar 1, 2011, 11:14pm Top

The only Derrida I've ever head of is the postmodern theorist. Is there another? (Wikipedia doesn't think so - Derrida redirects to Jacques Derrida with no disambiguation note, except for a film about the man.)

Mar 1, 2011, 11:40pm Top

> 5

Never rely on Wikipedia. Because some other Wikipedia will come along and show you that there is, indeed, another Derrida, Marguerite, Jacques' wife, psychoanalyst and translator of the works of Melanie Klein.

Mar 2, 2011, 6:22am Top

I just figured that names like Einstein and Beethoven that generally refer to one person are more likely to be combined last name and last name/first name, but other names might not be.

Mar 3, 2011, 12:14am Top

It's hard to get consensus among lumpers and splitters. Besides Marguerite Derrida, Library of Congress lists two other Derridas in their collection as authors, Fernand and Jean. However, looking at the books currently tagged with 'Derrida', they all seem to relate to Jacques Derrida. So, my lumper side wins, and would leave them combined.

I think for really famous people like Beethoven, most people realize that the name Beethoven refers to one person, and so lumpers will want to keep it the various Beethoven versions combined. The problem, of course, is that there are other versions of Beethoven not combined and perhaps should be, but won't be, as the splitters will vote against them.

When I see a separation proposal, and if I have any seed of doubt about it, I leave it alone until at least 10 people have voted on that separation. If 10 people have voted for it, and no one against it, and I still have a seed of doubt, I will vote undecided on it. If two people have voted against it, then I will add my no vote in. If only one has voted against it, I wait until it has 14 votes, and then make a decision of some random nature.

Mar 4, 2011, 4:23pm Top

Mar 4, 2011, 5:50pm Top

Also the world record holder for the triple jump.

Edited: Mar 4, 2011, 6:45pm Top

Just to mention, there's at least three (edit: five) of those now with dates attached. Not sure if they were there previously as they're fairly low in vote count.

Edited: Mar 4, 2011, 9:58pm Top

All of the books with the 'Jonathan Edwards' tag appear to point to the same person, so I am reluctant to vote no on the combination, or yes on the separation.

Mar 16, 2011, 8:08pm Top

I having an issue with a tag request so I thought I would point it out to folks:



I'm trying to combine mystery guild with "mystery guild" but the one with the double quotes is not showing up in the combo request nor on the tag page for the double quoted one.

Hopefully folks will vote for it and it'll go through.

Could have sworn that there was a ticket on these.

Mar 16, 2011, 8:29pm Top

13> It shows up as "theapparatus has proposed combining the tag and mystery guild." on the tag combo page so I'd say it didn't work. I'll give it a try.

Mar 16, 2011, 8:30pm Top

So I tried copying "mystery guild" (no quotes) into the quoted tag, and the tag combo page also says: "lemontwist has proposed combining the tag and mystery guild." so I guess that didn't work either.

Strange! I've never had this problem before.

Mar 16, 2011, 8:31pm Top

Sorry for the 3rd post but... I copied "Mystery Guild" (with quotes) onto the tag page for mystery guild (w/o quotes) and it worked.

Mar 22, 2011, 10:32pm Top

Rather than create a new topic...

Please vote yes on combining "Shazam" and "Captain Marvel (DC)"


They both refer to the same character/books.

(Technically "Shazam" probably shouldn't have been combined with "Captain Marvel (Shazam)" as they do mean different individual characters, but the usage is identical so that's probably why the proposal went through. "Captain Marvel (Shazam)" and "Captain Marvel (DC)" are in fact the same character no matter which way you slice it.)

Edited: Mar 22, 2011, 11:30pm Top

(Technically "Shazam" probably shouldn't have been combined with "Captain Marvel (Shazam)" as they do mean different individual characters, but the usage is identical so that's probably why the proposal went through.

They could have been combined before tag combination voting was implemented. In those days (not *that* long ago) it was like combining books or authors; anyone could combine or separate with impunity.

Mar 23, 2011, 12:28am Top

>>18 jjwilson61:

They weren't, because the last time I put "Captain Marvel (Shazam)" up for a *vote* it was still an independent tag.

Edited: Mar 23, 2011, 9:28am Top

I have to vote against the combination. This link might explain why. http://www.toonopedia.com/capmarv1.htm

The tag Captain Marvel (Shazam) eliminates only the 1966 version of Captain Marvel published by M.F. and possibly the Marvel Comics version that has been around in one incarnation or another since 1967. The 1940 original Captain Marvel shouted "Shazam" but was published by Fawcet not DC. DC won the rights to the original Captain Marvel in a copyright lawsuit over infringement of intellectual property rights, Captain Marvel was to close a copy of Superman. When DC won they shut the franchise down until 1973. The tag Captain Marvel (DC) can only apply to these. The tag (Shazam) however could apply to both the 1940 original Fawcet comics and the post 1973 DC comics.

Mar 23, 2011, 1:40pm Top

>Strange! I've never had this problem before.

We've had it before. There's a ticket from way back when on the topic. Folks were thinking it was just a blank tag but it;s the quotes throwing it off. Breaks the link html code so it doesn't show.

I guess it's not been corrected yet.

Edited: Mar 23, 2011, 1:51pm Top

>>20 TLCrawford:

I know all the history of DC and Fawcett, but I'm supporting my combination because DC owns all the rights to the Fawcett material and reprints those stories in addition to creating new material. In short, all of it is branded "DC."

Looking at the actual usage here on the site, the point of adding anything in parentheses to "Captain Marvel" was merely to separate the DC and Marvel iterations. If someone intended to separate the original Fawcett material from the DC material, there would be a "Captain Marvel (Fawcett)" tag, but there is not.

It's interesting to note that very few users feel the need to specify the Marvel Captain Marvel as distinct.

And looking at the Captain Marvel tags I'm going to throw a few more up for voting; these should be far less controversial.

Edited: Mar 23, 2011, 1:56pm Top


"Captain Marvel I (Marvel)" and "Captain Marvel (Mar-vell)" are the same character. The first Captain Marvel at Marvel was in fact, named Mar-vell.



Apr 14, 2011, 10:48am Top

Is there something I'm missing about a reason not to combine "toberead" and "TBR"?



The former contains variants of "toberead" and also "to_be_read". The latter contains variants of "TBR" and variants of "to be read". I can't see any reason not to combine them.

Apr 14, 2011, 12:47pm Top

I think the problem for some people is that short abbreviations or acronymns might very well stand for someone else. One would think that "tbr" means "to be read" pretty universally in LT, but it is hard to prove. I did vote yes.

Apr 14, 2011, 1:10pm Top

Well I guess we could uncombine "TBR" and "to be read" but there are LOTS of variants of each, so I don't think it would really be worth it.

Edited: Apr 14, 2011, 1:34pm Top

For instance: here in the Netherlands TBR* stands for "Ter Beschikking van het Rijk" = "At the Disposal of the Nation": a sort of punishment cum treatment for the criminally insane.

* Also known as TBS, not sure which acronym the burocrats prefer at the moment.

Apr 14, 2011, 2:12pm Top

Should someone propose to separate all the "TBR"s and the "to be read"s, then?

Apr 14, 2011, 2:28pm Top

28> Only way to find out is to try a few separation proposals and see how they go down. No need to separate all of them until you see which way the wind blows.

Edited: May 3, 2011, 8:34pm Top

I tried to propose combining "baskervilles hound" with "hound of the baskervilles", and found that the main tag for that one is SH:Houn. Which of course stands for "Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles". Which I know because it's my tag. HOUN is the fan-official abbreviation. I hope that's enough.

edit: It's weird that "SH:Houn" is the main tag though. "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is used more often. I am now considering changing this tag to help the combination go through eventually.

May 4, 2011, 6:57am Top

30> I hate those acronym tags. They effectively disable any other combinations from going through when they become the main tag.

May 4, 2011, 1:38pm Top

And when you try separating the culprit, at least temporarily, people also vote no, and you're stuck, right?

This one seems to be going well so far, but I've got others still uncombined with anything, so if I proposed those people wouldn't be able to "deduce" (in that loose Sherlockian sense) from the tag page what they were about, and would probably vote no unless they'd checked here.

I'm seriously considering writing them all out ("Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles") and propose them like that, both to improve their chances of getting combined and to prevent trouble in the future (when someone will inevitably use a new version of one of the story titles).

I still think something like "canonical tag" would be a good idea in some cases; to make (one of) the clearest, cleanest version(s) the main tag.

And it might help if we could combine sub-tags; i.e., if the proposal actually showed that you'd proposed combining two versions of the same acronym tag, and not an acronym tag with a non-acronym tag.

May 4, 2011, 2:36pm Top

32> A canonical tag would be awesome.

I'm not quite sure what you mean about writing them all out. I tried combining some United Kingdom typo tags to the United Kingdom tag, which is reading as UK. When I typed in to the combine box "United Kingdom" it still came up on the proposal list as UK. So I don't think there's a away around the default display.

May 4, 2011, 3:28pm Top

I'm not quite sure what you mean about writing them all out.

I meant replacing my abbreviated tags with longer tags that would be more readily understood by other people.

I tried combining some United Kingdom typo tags to the United Kingdom tag, which is reading as UK. When I typed in to the combine box "United Kingdom" it still came up on the proposal list as UK. So I don't think there's a away around the default display.

That's what I meant by combining sub-tags. The usefulness of being able to do this would overlap with that of canonical tags.

Edited: Dec 22, 2011, 8:21am Top

I am not sure why this is showing twice, but I requested that the tag "science--fiction" be separated from "science fiction" here
My use of the tag "science--fiction" refers to science in fiction. Not to science fiction the genre. I used both science--fiction and science fiction, and would prefer to keep them on separate tag pages.

Dec 30, 2011, 4:32am Top

Re: 35. I used the tags "science--fiction" and "science--non-fiction".
The former is science in fiction, not "science fiction" the genre. The latter, by the way, is science in non-fiction, such as zoology, etc.

For some reason someone combined the two: science--fiction and science fiction. I think I was the only one using science--fiction, which means something completely different from science fiction, as far as tags go for me. In some cases I use both; in others I use only one (examples of tagging only science--fiction: Strange Companion by Dayton O. Hyde has a biologist; The Danger Box by Blue Balliet talks a lot about evolution, natural selection, Charles Darwin, these are studied in science topics). The tag was also used when science was involved in the plot to solve a problem, such as in the Spellbinder books by Shirrefs, even though science fiction also applied (time travel, parallel worlds).

Since science--fiction has not so far been separated from science fiction, I changed my science--fiction tag to: science--fiction (ie. science IN fiction), to make it perfectly clear. Which took the duplicity of my tag use off the science fiction page (only the tag science--fiction is still there, of course). Should the two eventually be separated, please let me know. :)

Dec 30, 2011, 10:18am Top

36> Instead of relying on cryptic symbols that could mean different things to different people to convey your meaning why not just use "science in fiction" as your tag?

Dec 30, 2011, 10:29am Top

What's so cryptic about "science--fiction"? Frankly, it's perfectly obvious to me that that tag is not the same as "science fiction". It's like "London--fiction" and "London--non-fiction", "boarding schools--fiction" and "boarding schools--non-fiction", etc.

Dec 30, 2011, 10:37am Top

37>Is it also too much to ask that people LOOK at how a tag is used before suggesting a combination? About half of those books have both tags in the one library, which one might take to mean that they mean something different. This is why combinations have to be voted on now. So that someone else might check even if the original suggester didn't.

Dec 30, 2011, 11:25am Top

38-39: Most hardily agree.

37: The point of folksonomies, as opposed to controlled vocabulary is that people can use anything they please to mean whatever they want. It's our job as combiners to only combine those tags which truly mean the same thing. Otherwise we're undermining the system that Tim intended to create.

Dec 30, 2011, 11:57am Top

38> If it's so obvious then is there a proposal to separate the science fiction and science--fiction tags? I wouldn't vote for it, but I wouldn't vote against it either.

Dec 30, 2011, 12:02pm Top

Yes, there is. See message #35: "I requested that the tag "science--fiction" be separated from "science fiction" here."

Dec 30, 2011, 12:08pm Top

40> And the problem with people using any tag they please is that the meaning is only in that persons head. The whole act of combining tags is in opposition with the idea of people using tags to mean whatever they want. I think Tim has done a marvelous job of reconciling the different needs of the individual and the community when it comes to tags in that you can use whatever you want in your own library but on the work pages similar tags are combined and the different spheres don't interfere with each other.

(I said similar tags are combined and not identical because and difference is potentially meaningful. Someone may decide that in their library Science means something different than science but no one is suggesting that they not be combined (especially since with the current system they cannot be separated)).

It's our job as combiners to only combine those tags which truly mean the same thing.

That's a fool's errand. Even the same tag can mean different things to different people so on what basis do you decide that they mean the same thing? I think a better standard would be to combine tags when they are mostly the same to most people. The most people part can be taken care of by the voting mechanism. Mostly the same covers cases like 'computer' and 'computers' where although a few people might make a distinction most people would use one or the other for the same books.

Dec 30, 2011, 12:11pm Top

42> Thanks. I had actually previously voted for that separation.

Dec 30, 2011, 12:47pm Top

on what basis do you decide that they mean the same thing?

Usage and meaning. It's very clear in the guidelines for combining. If people voting "yes" on the original combination proposal for bookel's tag "science--fiction" had looked at the usage, especially as MarthaJeanne suggests, the usage within the single tag user's catalog, there would have been no question that the usage was different and the tags would not be combined.

Dec 30, 2011, 6:55pm Top

Usage is a reasonable guideline when a tag is used enough that we can get a general consensus of what a tag means to the community but when a tag is used just once it becomes a single idiosyncratic data point. I disagree with Tim about the guidelines and since he gave me a vote I'll use it in a way that makes sense to me.

Edited: Jan 2, 2012, 7:25pm Top

I proposed that "devils" be combined with "devil", and wanted to give my reasons for the proposal, as it currently is leaning towards being voted down.

Tags like "witches"and "witch", "demons" and "demon", "vampires" and "vampire", "werewolves" and "werewolf", "wizards" and "wizard", have all been combined. Why not "devils" and "devil"? What is the reason for not combining plural and singular forms of a tag?

Jan 2, 2012, 8:55pm Top

> 47

Generally speaking, singular tags should not be combined with plural tags.

In the case of "devils" and "devil", I can see an additional reason. "Devil" (singular) has a particular connotation of one specific being. It would be like combining "gods" with "god"!

Jan 2, 2012, 9:04pm Top

The issue of whether to combine singular and plural has not really been resolved at LT. About 30% of us generally don't see a problem in combining singular and plural tags in many cases. It means that most singular-plural combinations can't pass, and most singular-plural separations also can't pass, because you need an 80% vote either way.

Jan 2, 2012, 11:00pm Top

Another good reason (well, a pair of them) shows up in New Jersey. The hockey team uses the plural form, while the, er, thing the team's named for uses the singular.

Jan 3, 2012, 4:27am Top

There are many examples of singular/plural combinations that I will shrug over, but I find #48 a pretty strong reason not to combine.

Jan 3, 2012, 11:01am Top

Don't see why people are opposed to combining Tamerlane with Timur. All books of the latter except one seem to be about Tamerlane, and the one remaining seems to be a misspelling of "Timor".


Jan 3, 2012, 11:12pm Top

Thanks for the explanations, although it doesn't sway me. But I guess that's why we vote, and I'm just going to be in the minority on this one.

Jan 4, 2012, 12:08am Top

#49: It's frustrating that there's no compromise on this. It's 15-6 against combining London (U.K.) to London, but the same 6 turn around to stop the separation of London (UK) from London. It's more important to push a private theory on how tags should be on LT then to make tags on LT the best they can be.

Edited: Jan 5, 2012, 8:45am Top

>53 andejons: Timur isn't a mispelling of Timor afaik, but how some people in some parts of the world do spell it :


Jan 5, 2012, 11:06am Top

OK, left turn here. I proposed combining (759) and @ 759. I started using the latter form to tag Dewey codes and it's been adopted by a few other users. The former also seems to be a Dewey usage.

Group: Combiners!

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