Since many styles that are/will be discussed on this site are named using essentially Anglicized approximations of spoken words from Asian languages, how do we (or should we?) consolidate tags referring to the same style but with different spellings, and how much should we enforce certain spellings when writing/editing questions and answers?

Sets of names that come to mind that this may apply to are:

  • Taiji vs Tai Chi vs Tai Chi Chuan vs Taiji Chuan
  • Kung fu vs Kungfu vs Gung fu vs Gong fu
  • Tae Kwon Do vs Taekwondo
  • Jujutsu vs Ju-utsu vs Jiu-Jutsu vs Jiu-jitsu vs Ju-jitsu vs Jujitsu
  • Kempo vs Kenpo

What's the best course of action, considering this situation?

  • So if there aren't any conflicting opinions about these particular sets of tags, then they should all be synonyms and merged into one?
    – user15
    May 17, 2012 at 14:27
  • I would say why not. Though I do know there are other spellings, too. This isn't an exhaustive list, and shouldn't be considered as such. May 17, 2012 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


I actually merged and created a synonym for "jujitsu" to point to "jujutsu" last night. I went with the spelling on the WikiPedia article (after doing a Google search for the term) even though I personally have used the former spelling my whole life.

In the general case of tagging, tag synonyms and merges are appropriate where variations on these terms exist. I would choose the spelling or phrase that's the most widely used one (in conversation or in writing) and has better discoverability (what someone might search for). This is for the sake of organizing the content here. These things can come up as necessary (as new meta posts) so don't be too caught up in trying to catch them all up front. I've brought it up before with acronym usage.

When using these terms in questions or answers, that's something I would leave up to the user. There isn't a need to go through and do massive little corrections like that for the sake of being nitpicky. I would allow freedom in the way that language is used (given that it's written well and properly and abides by the community guidelines) in what people write so long as what they are writing can be understood given the context of their words.

  • 2
    Careful with synonymizing BJJ's jiujitsu with jujutsu, there's a real difference there. May 16, 2012 at 18:31
  • @DaveLiepmann I think that's an important point to make. I do know that some styles do explicitly use a certain spelling to refer to their style, and differentiate it from another. May 16, 2012 at 18:37
  • We have BJJ tags, I'd suggest just making sure that BJJ always gets appropriately tagged. May 16, 2012 at 18:50
  • 3
    Jiu-Jitsu is an outdated romanization of jujutsu. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (derived from judo) is usually shortened to BJJ so as to avoid confusion. Simple correction: if it's labeled jujutsu or jiu-jitsu and is referring to BJJ, edit and tag to BJJ. Be explicit and there's no misunderstanding.
    – stslavik
    May 16, 2012 at 22:48

I'd prefer to let people use whichever one they feel like, and just treat them all as synonyms.

  • When it comes to tagging though, searching by tag doesn't automatically find similar spellings. Consolidating tags has to be intentional. But regarding questions and answers, I think that's a valid point. May 16, 2012 at 18:38
  • @sidran32 I haven't played with it, but I thought that SE synonyms automatically treated different spellings as one group. I'll have to test. May 16, 2012 at 18:39
  • @DaveLiepmann They do as far as I know.
    – user15
    May 16, 2012 at 18:54
  • @MattChan Oh, then it's my mistake. I didn't think it worked that way. May 16, 2012 at 19:11

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