Despite the tag wiki saying "This tag is nearly useless" and "nearly useless. Consider using more specific tags to narrow your question down." -- which would seem to discourage its use -- the tag is one of the most popular tags (currently the 10th most popular). But just quickly scanning the newest questions, those that are tagged only with no other tags either seem to be poor quality questions, or could more accurately be tagged or .

Passerby kindly provided a data analytic link for single-tag questions: http://data.stackexchange.com/electronics/query/372728/find-questions-with-a-single-tag-now-case-insensitive?Tag=circuit

I initially thought questions that are tagged only with the vague seemed to actually be about circuit analysis. But several of these questions are asking for help with circuit design, so maybe should be re-activated.

The more specific tags , , and seem useful and should be kept.

Suggested action:

  • unlock and use as a complement to the existing
  • lock the vague/"nearly useless" tag to prevent new questions using this tag
  • gradually retag the best single-tag questions
  • retag only a few at a time, to avoid spamming the "active questions" page
  • most of the questions are really about or
  • delete any useless questions
  • repeat until bliss is achieved

Alternate action:

  • change the tag wiki to declare that really means questions about how to design circuits, and to use for questions about how something works.

is one of the biggest tags, and will probably need a lot of time and effort to fix. But these "please don't use me" tags remain an attractive nuisance as long as they're available.

Interestingly, this very topic was discussed way back in 2011 at the dawn of time, when both and were removed. It's not clear when or why came back while did not. Remove circuit tag?

(Note: an earlier version of this request was posted 2015-10-08, but was subsequently deleted to avoid pulling focus off another tag discussion. Since then there's been more tag cleanup requests so I think it's worth opening to discussion.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Since this involves a tag deletion, I will insist that there are no untagged questions before any further tag deletion action is taken. \$\endgroup\$
    – W5VO
    Oct 20, 2015 at 3:09
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, I did some digging, and circuit-design isn't blacklisted, it just doesn't exist. I think circuit would need to be blacklisted to get rid of it for good. I think the gist of not having circuit-design is that it applies to most of the questions asked, making it less useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – W5VO
    Oct 20, 2015 at 4:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Circuit-analysis" spans basic KVL/KCL/Ohm'sLaw newbie questions, through more complicated analysis of an existing schematic. But "circuit-design" would be how to approach solving a problem, where the circuit is unknown. Synthesizing a circuit, or even finding the building blocks or a known good design approach, is much harder than analyzing a given circuit, and needs more expert attention. So in my humble opinion, this is specific enough to be worth a tag. But I do agree that a tag should never be so broad it applies to all or even most questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – MarkU
    Oct 20, 2015 at 6:29

2 Answers 2


Here are my proposed actions for this tag:

  1. Start working on retagging all single-use instances of using the SEDE query from Passerby right now. (Everyone can do this).
  2. Delete the tag administratively, and blacklist it.
  3. Finish retagging any question in

Regarding "circuit-design"

This tag, as mentioned, was originally deleted way back in 2011. As envisioned, this tag could encompass a large number of questions (say 20%-30%), since designing circuits is a major part of EE. I am against bringing this tag back, as I don't think it would be useful for categorizing questions, and it would have the temptation to go back and add it to a bunch of old questions.

Update: Marked as Status Complete on 11/10/15 due to being cleared out.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So instead of circuit-design they'd need to select a more specific tag... which is probably a good thing. I can live with this. And for retagging design questions, if it's unclear what they're trying to design, its untagged/downvote/close/delete as low quality question. \$\endgroup\$
    – MarkU
    Oct 23, 2015 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think all the single-use instances of circuit have been retagged (except for a few closed questions). \$\endgroup\$
    – MarkU
    Nov 9, 2015 at 9:59

As noted before:

UGH, there are 129! single tag questions in . That would be 129 untagged questions to go through, 17 of which are closed and likely migrate rejected/locked and need flagging.

This is out of 1,500 odd questions with the tag. It's not a minor tag, and any synonyms proposed will need to be highly thought out.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's probably best to burn this one to the ground and ban it. Creating synonyms will cause all kinds of headaches down the road. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Young
    Oct 22, 2015 at 18:49

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