# Blacklist the “output” tag?

Seven questions are tagged with "output". To me it seems this tag is ambiguous, without any special meaning or use, and in fact it may often signal that a question should be migrated (in the cases where "output" is meant in the sense of "how do I get this software to output such-and-such"). I would like to delete and blacklist this tag. (A blacklisted tag cannot be used, ever. The only one blacklisted here so far is "statistics".)

Before moving ahead, I seek the community's advice. Upvotes to this question will signal tacit approvals of the proposal and downvotes, disapprovals. If you have time or inclination to write something in an answer or comment, I would be grateful to learn of the reasons for disapproval: what am I missing?

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So is 'deleting' a less extreme option? How does deleting differ from blacklisting? –  gung Aug 23 '12 at 13:34
@gung, blacklisting prevents future use of the tag. –  whuber Aug 23 '12 at 13:34
& deleting just removes the tag, but someone could re-create it in the future? –  gung Aug 23 '12 at 13:36
@gung Yes, that's correct. The only other option is to create a tag synonym, but I see no point to doing that when the tag is essentially useless in the first place. –  whuber Aug 23 '12 at 13:38
I don't see that the tag offers much value. It looks like it could be replaced by interpretation in most cases, although making it a synonym wouldn't be a good idea, as you note. I'm guessing nothing happens to the questions themselves, just that tag drops off of them. I certainly don't have a problem with deleting it, blacklisting just seems awfully final. –  gung Aug 23 '12 at 14:33
@gung I believe blacklisting is reversible, but it does prevent use of a tag while it is blacklisted. Thus the crux of the question is, are there any conceivable circumstances in which it would be useful to tag an on-topic question with "output"? If so, we'll keep "output" as a tag, modify its wiki to describe its intended application and scope, and (if needed) re-tag or un-tag existing questions to be consistent with that meaning. –  whuber Aug 23 '12 at 14:44
I agree. In all but one of the tagged questions, "output" is redundant as the question is already tagged with the relevant programming language. The "r" tag, for example, already generally implies that the question relates to the coding and output of the R programming language. That said, perhaps users would like to stress that their questions relate to the interpretation of the programming language's output, in which case @gung's suggestion of creating an "interpretation" synonym seems valid. –  jthetzel Aug 23 '12 at 16:35
Sorry, I may not have been clear. I do not think that it would be best to make output a synonym for interpretation. I understand that to be whuber's position as well. I'm in favor of straight deletion if that doesn't harm the questions (as I suspect). It's only the blacklisting that makes me nervous. –  gung Aug 23 '12 at 16:39
@gung: Ah, I misread your comment. In some questions, the OP appears to be asking how to create output, in which case the programming language tag would suffice. In other questions, the OP appears to be asking how to interpret the output of a program, in which case "interpretation" may be a better tag. In either case, "output" is not appropriate and blacklisting it might encourage more proper tagging. –  jthetzel Aug 23 '12 at 16:56
There's only 8 questions in the category. There have been no reasons given for keeping it, and there are no downvotes on this suggestion, and it's been 3 months. What's the threshold for making a decision like this? –  naught101 Nov 23 '12 at 7:48
@naught Thank you for the reminder. –  whuber Nov 23 '12 at 15:12

The output tag still exists, but
2. Has been made synonymous with interpretation, and