Our world is a wonderful, complex place that takes people lifetimes of study to understand. Even so, these people who do devote their lives to understanding our world often come up with more questions than answers.

Obviously, all stack exchange sites are a limited format. We cannot give a lifetime of expertise in such a short space. We will have to use terms and ideas to summarize worlds. Just like our world, there will be different aspects or areas of interest, and just like in the real world, one area of interest can affect another.

Therefore, I submit that we need a common vocabulary to talk about worlds.

The intent of a world-building vocabulary is to increase people's ability to effectively communicate what is going on. How do we know if a world shares the same physical principles and properties as our own? Do we just make assumptions? Should we talk about worlds according to a genres of games or books they appear in? How can we describe worlds in a short and effective way?

For example, assume the world from the Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was unknown to all but one person. That individual comes to our site for help. Can we have a common vocabulary so this person can say "classic fantasy world" instead of "a world based on Middle Age Europe with subtle or low magical elements whose physical properties closely approximates our own"?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can you give some examples of what you mean? I'm not sure I understand. $\endgroup$
    – Jerenda
    Sep 16, 2014 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ I'll edit it for increased clarity $\endgroup$
    – PipperChip
    Sep 16, 2014 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ That's definitely a lot clearer, thanks! Now I think you might have a point... hmm... $\endgroup$
    – Jerenda
    Sep 16, 2014 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


No, we don't need vocabulary

This site is intended to be for everybody – not even just all members, but also people coming in from other Stack Exchanges through the hot network questions, and from people totally unfamiliar with SE coming in from Google. When we answer, we don't just answer one person's question – we try to answer that question for all people in the future who have the same question.

So we do not want jargon. We don't want to add any additional barriers to entry. If your answer cannot be understood by someone from the outside, it can and should be improved.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This was talked about in the area51 proposal. The general answer was no, but with a belief that the tag system would basically do that for us, over time, using categorization. $\endgroup$
    – Mourdos
    Sep 17, 2014 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ This was discussed at length and yes consensus was use tags unless they prove not to do the trick. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Oct 1, 2014 at 14:56

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