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I just added a new question regarding the movie Tango & Cash which did not have an existing tag so I added it as tango-&-cash, but apparently this is not allowed by SE and instead two new tags were created and added to my question: , . I changed it so there is now a tag.

I guess I'm wondering why ampersand's aren't allowed and if that might be a potential issue for a site like Movies and TV due to the fact that some titles officially use the & rather than spelling out the word and. If it only came down to syntax I don't think it would be a big problem, but are there any potential cases where two movies have the same title but one uses & while the other uses and?

  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) vs. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005). – user7812 Dec 12 '15 at 11:37
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Since this is an estate-wide issue, you'd probably do better raising it on Meta.Stackexchange.com rather than a local SE. That being said, it looks like this is a "by design" feature and not an oversight. Since you're not the first to raise it, I would imagine that you'll get nowhere with it (sorry).

Quoting from the create tags privilege page;

[tags] must use the character set a-z 0-9 + # - .

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In addition to Richard's general answer of this apparently being by-design and being bound to the general tagging framework of SE, I'd like to adress the second part of your question a little more.

We just won't get around having to adapt movie titles to make them proper tags now and then. Imagine all the titles that feature a : or a -. While those are a bit more implicit, there are also other (admittedly rarer used) special characters (like the @ adressed in a previous meta discussion) that have to be transformed in some way or another.

However, as to the problem of movies with nearly similar titles, there are millions of movies that have the exact same title even without little syntax differences anyway. So handling the very few ones that are indeed differentiated by an & (as the one presented in Richard's comment) shouldn't really make a big impact on the general problem of tagging movies with equal titles. This problem has to be solved nevertheless, as adressed in this related meta discussion. So no, I don't think this specific problem is going to be a big issue for this site.

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    The suggestion I've seen is that since the & gets removed, if there's an issue with a larger tag that can carry an &, then you can simply key in a synonym that ignores it. For example, if you wanted to create a synonym base for Heckler & Koch, You'd probably create "Heckler and Koch" as the main tag with "Heckler Koch", "H and K" and "HK" as synonyms. No need for an ampersand in any of them. – user7812 Dec 12 '15 at 17:42
  • @Richard Reasonable idea indeed. – Napoleon Wilson Dec 12 '15 at 20:07
  • The only site where I've heard of it being a genuine issue is Board Games:SE where their main tag is Dungeons and Dragons 5th(?) Edition. Apparently they suffer a fair amount of frustration since the common coin for it outside of the SE world is "D&D5e" – user7812 Dec 12 '15 at 20:09

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