The "Life" tag has had a long journey.

  • In October 2014, the tag was first discussed in meta. We decided it was too ambiguous to consolidate with , because it can be used outside of that tag.
  • Later that month, we dissolved the tag into and , hoping it would not reappear. It was deemed too ambiguous and too easy to be misinterpreted, as not all users read tag wikis, and then it was deleted.
  • At the end of the month, we decided not to blacklist the tag, because that's a tedious process. We just hoped it would not resurface.
  • In February 2016, the tag came back anyway. We decided it's too ambiguous to either make it a synonym or give it a definition, and sought to blacklist the tag to get rid of the problem.
  • In January 2017, the tag resurfaced in meta. It's not clear what happened to the blacklist request from February, but it seems it did not succeed. There was talk of revisiting the tag.

After five meta posts discussing this tag, it remains ambiguous and unclear. It's used by 22 questions, and currently does not have a wiki.

After 858 days of uncertainty, I would like to lay this tag to rest.

  • We've already discussed that the tag is too ambiguous to make a synonym
  • Making it a unique tag covers too broad of a range
  • Deleting the current questions won't work, as more pop up
  • It seems resubmitting a blacklist request is the only option, but it's unclear how the first request went or why it didn't work. If anyone has that knowledge, please comment.

How do we end "life" as we know it?

  • $\begingroup$ There's something scary about the tag that wouldn't die. I read the list of 22 questions. For a reasonable number of them "life" was an appropriate tag. Retagging them "biology" would be nonsensical (mostly). Occasionally we have to recognize there are categories which defy definition. Everyone knows what they are, until you try to say what they are. Life is a premier example. Perhaps we should give in, and let it live. The alternative is to keep reviewing how and when it is used to see if they're appropriately tagged with "life". $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 5:14
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android I love the irony - coincidence? that "life" won't die. While biology would apply to many of those questions, the concern is that life is ambiguous: it can also apply to lifestyle, a completely different phenomenon, and has been applied that way in the past. It's difficult to get people to use it consistently. $\endgroup$
    – Zxyrra
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 5:16
  • $\begingroup$ The irony is wonderful. Ambiguity is part of language. There are times we have to learn to live with it. That why a reasonable wiki needs to be written for high ambiguity tags like this. The problem is customizing for WB. Consistent use seems to be the real problem. Not just with the life tag. That's why the retagging of questions may be a better solution. Though better solutions for anything is rare. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 5:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'd favor blacklisting it. Jeez... have you looked at the right rail of "related posts" for this? Challenge after challenge of the life tag. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 5:36


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