There are two sutta related tags which perhaps need to be merged:
After they are merged it needs to be tested is both can be used but maps to one tag.
Similarly some of the other tags could also be merged, if both can be used.
I wonder if they have the same use in practice. In my experience, Mahayana Buddhists tend to use 'sutra' and Theravada Buddhists tend to use 'sutta'.
Although it wouldn't seem incorrect to me to call discourses in the Pāli Canon 'sutras' it doesn't go both ways. One example of a different extensional usage would be, e.g., the Lotus Sutra. I have never heard anyone call it the 'Lotus Sutta' (same for Heart Sutra) and that seems like a really weird thing to do. So, it might be useful to have separate tags for these reasons.
I would say yes. The best thing would be to use synonyms in my opinion. High rep users such as yourself can suggest them but to be honest since we are a smaller site they never get enough users to approve them. Mods can approve them with one vote though - happy to do it if you think it's a good idea.
We had a meta question on Sanskrit vs. Pali as preferred language for tags and questions, and while I was in favor of Sanskrit as a more linguistically complete language of the two, a decision was never made.
According to this FAQ, What are tag synonyms and merged tags? How do they work? we have two choices:
A merge is irreversible (existing questions are retagged) so if we're not sure it recommends trying a synonym before doing a merge (probably because, on a mature site, users can define synonyms without moderator intervention/oversight); but "All good tag synonyms should eventually be merged".
This answer, What language should our tags be in? suggests "Sanskrit rather Pali" because people use Google to search for the Sanskrit more often that the Pali (although I guess that existing users tend to use Pali more often, in the text on the site).
To anyone who is interested in this topic, would you help to define what that tag is supposed to be used for, when it's supposed to be used, when it's not supposed to be used, what it does and doesn't mean?
For example Theravada is using it on almost all their questions. Is that a correct use of the tag?
See also the comments under this question:
- Why did you add (what was your reason for adding) the sutras/suttas tags to this question?
- Because i wanted to find any Sutta reference that might deal with close subject matter
Is that correct usage? If you use this tag, should that mean you don't want answers which don't contain a reference to a sutta? How does the tag compare with reference-request?
Alternatively should the sutta/sutra tag only be used when you're asking a question about a specific sutta/sutra i.e. when you already know which sutta/sutra you're asking about?
Alternatively should sutta be allowed to stay (distinct from sutra), for reference request questions which are only interested in a reference to a sutta and which don't want, for example, answers based on the Abhidhamma?
I defined the synonym.
This page defines all synonyms (there are some other existing synonyms)
I defined suttas as a synonym for sutras (so 'sutras' is the 'master'). I don't know whether we can (but I think we probably can't/shouldn't) define it both ways, with each as the synonym of the other.
Apparently the change (the synonym) I suggested didn't take immediately: I also had to approve the change; but, I was allowed to approve my own change.
Now a search for suttas is redirected to become a search for sutras -- and a search for sutras returns all topics which are tagged with either, with sutras and/or with suttas.