Recently, two questions were tagged for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Today, there was a question asked about natural language processing, and the user assigned the tag as well.

In a brief exchange in the comments of today's question, zergylord (to credit him, not to single him out) brought up the point that this should be addressed on meta, and I think we agreed that, despite the early contribution of 2 questions on Neuro-Linguistic, "NLP" is predominantly associated with natural language processing in academia.

Is there a general feeling either way? Whichever direction is chosen, the tag wiki excerpt should be edited to reflect that this is a tag for _________ and not for ___________ to keep things organized. It may be that we agree that neither gets the acronym and that it becomes a synonym to one or the other.

  • A problem is the first search result for NLP in google is for neuro linguistic programming. Though I agree I hear NLP and think natural language processing I think maybe both tags should be written out as it's just too ambiguous.
    – Ben Brocka
    Feb 7, 2012 at 16:08
  • 4
    Upon reviewing what NL programming is, it seems very discredited, I would stick to keeping NLP for natural language processing.
    – Ben Brocka
    Feb 7, 2012 at 17:15
  • Sorry about the dispute, I've used it as Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It's also associated with people like Derren Brown, it's still quite a big thing, although :¬( at least some of it has seemingly been disproven. A tutor interested in natural language processing at DMU has expressed the view to me that it's confusing having both acronyms meaning the same thing.
    – alan2here
    Feb 8, 2012 at 18:36

3 Answers 3


I think academia takes precedence. As a start I've edited relevant old questions to so that can be used for natural language processing. I like the idea of adding that info to the tag wiki.


My thinking is, if it's ambiguous, we should blacklist not use the tag and enforce the use of and .

I suppose a well worded tag wiki for could do the trick but it is my experience that most people don't read, so, we should have two clear tags and avoid the ambiguous acronym.

  • 1
    Blacklisting seems excessive, especially at this early stage
    – Ben Brocka
    Feb 7, 2012 at 17:16
  • I agree with this. I'd not heard of NLP as natural language processing untill recently. Even if natural language processing is the superior usage it's still going to cause confusion.
    – alan2here
    Feb 8, 2012 at 18:41
  • @BenBrocka I reconsidered my stance on blacklisting.
    – Josh
    Feb 8, 2012 at 19:00
  • I know within academia natural-language processing is more prevalent but when in the overall world it's taken to be neuro-linguistic processing, trying to go with the academic convention will discourage the general public from participation. Perhaps more importantly it will confuse them. Ofcourse the opposite will discourage academics, so better blacklist. Feb 14, 2012 at 8:48

I agree that should be short for . Preferably, it should be a synonym of the longer form, to save any misunderstanding. Also adding that it is short for natural language processing to its excerpt would clear up all doubt.

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