Prologue: This question originally appeared at Tag Housekeeping Requests. I brought it over here and gave it a separate thread of its own because that request/proposal turned out to need more discussion than I thought it would.

Deletreo means which letters appear in a word (and in what order), and ortografía covers that too, but also the use of symbols such as the accent mark, the diaerisis, and punctuation marks.

Right now we have and as synonyms, which I think is as it should be. Their definition is

Deletreo, puntuación, uso de tildes, etc. Correct spelling, punctuation, use of accent/diacritical marks, etc.

But we also have , which is defined as

Questions about the correct way of spelling a word. Preguntas sobre la forma correcta de escribir una palabra.

Here are two examples of questions tagged deletreo:

¿Cómo escribo el subjuntivo presente de 'adelgazar'?

Is it "élite" or "elite"?

One is also tagged with ortografía; one isn't. Is anything gained by tagging with just ortografía?

This is intended to be a polling question, with a structure for fruitful discussion.

  • It is worth noting what the DRAE says about deletreo: Decir separadamente las letras de cada sílaba, las sílabas de cada palabra y luego la palabra entera; Decir el nombre de cada una de las letras que constituyen una palabra." So that technically is "spelling a word _aloud", quite different from [ortografía](Conjunto de normas que regulan la escritura de una lengua; Forma correcta de escribir respetando las normas)
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 13:13
  • This question is not as useful as it could be. OK, so we are polling, but what will be the outcome of this poll? If we don't need both tags, do we delete "deletreo" (Can we explicitly say so if it is the intended outcome)? If we need both, do we make "deletreo" a synonym of ortografía/spelling? Or do we need "deletreo" but with its own meaning? Personaly, I think we don't need "deletreo" and the tag should be deleted, but others might disagree. In any case, I don't think that our call to action after polling is completely clear.
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 13:25
  • @Diego - The action step seemed obvious to me but if you think it was too much of a leap, please feel free to edit the question. Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 13:30
  • @diego - Your reasoning and your position are a helpful addition to the discussion. If there is an answer in the poll that you can support, I hope you'll post a comment below it. // Please feel free to add one or more additional answers to the poll. Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 13:34
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    @aparente001 It may be obvious in the case that we don't need the tag, but unclear if we decide to keep it (keep it as a synonym or as a tag with its own separated purpose?) Or if I vote that we don't need both tags does it mean the tag should "disappear" by becoming a synonym (as opposed to be deleted)? To me if the tag is needed or not, and the call to action may be two separate things. It can't hurt to clarify the outcome of each choice in the poll. I'm not going to add additional options to the poll. I may add a comment, which will be lost under the 10 already existing for that choice.
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 13:58
  • @Diego good points! I would say: If No wins, then we assume deletreo is a subset of ortografía, so we merge those and create a synonym.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 14:01
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    Fedorqui I was assuming that if No wins the tag was not needed. @Aparente001 said that the action steps were obvious, but no clarification has been given in spite of my requests. I was just invited to edit the question. Maybe it doesn't matter and I'm overthinking it. In any case, since comments are used to request clarification (and since the answer was edited and further comments were added after I asked) it could not hurt to clarify that obvious action step. Just saying "it seemed obvious to me but if it is not for you, you edit the question" doesn't help me to understand any better.
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 14:50
  • @Diego - I apologize if I seemed to be expecting you to edit the question -- that wasn't my intention, and I'm sorry. I don't want you to feel pressured to edit it. But you can if you want to. // You wrote, "Personally, I think we don't need "deletreo" and the tag should be deleted." I'm inclined to agree, but I'm interested in the discussion, and the process. If we keep the tag, I think it would be helpful to delineate more clearly when it should and shouldn't be used. Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 0:18
  • @walen quite simple: we use the tags we need at the time we are checking those. So far, I hadn't found any question that needed the deletreo, thus I didn't find the need to have it. Once you added the question ¿Cómo se deletrean las “palabras” con varias letras iguales seguidas? things change. It is the same reasoning why we don't have [filipino-en-guinea-ecuatorial] or [preposición-de-con-subjuntivo]: because currently they don't make any difference in classifying questions. Taxonomy keeps changing.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 6:42

2 Answers 2


No, there's no need to have both the and tags.

  • If both tags exist, it's tempting to tag most spelling questions with both, so actually, one tag would be enough. Since "ortografía" is the commonly used term in Spanish for talking about the concept of spelling, "ortografía" would be a more practical term to hold on to than "deletreo." Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 1:43
  • @walen - Sorry, I wasn't clear. When I said ortografía is the commonly used term for talking about the concept of "spelling," I didn't mean that it is the commonly used term for talking ONLY about the concept of spelling. I meant that when a native Spanish speaker has in mind what English speakers use the word "spelling" to express, they use the word "ortografía," not "deletreo." For example, there are books for fourth graders entitled "Spelling," and "Ortografía." There aren't any books entitled "Deletreo." I have acknowledged ... Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 12:35
  • ... that they aren't one to one, that "ortografía" covers a much larger set. In meaning. But the places where the circles don't intersect in a Venn diagram can be clarified when we write the tag guidance. Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 12:37
  • @walen - Thanks for laying out your reasoning. I will try to answer the question "What's the point?". Look at the two example questions and their tag structure. What do you think about the tags chosen in those two questions? Do you think one needed deletreo and the other didn't? Do you think the one that has both tags gains anything by having deletreo, or would ortografía be enough? You might feel differently about those decisions than I do. Maybe you'll be able to propose a flow chart for tagging those questions, with a clear logic. I haven't been able to come... Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 13:22
  • ... up with one -- but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not possible. Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 13:23
  • spelling is ortografía, no doubt about it. Deletrear is to spell (out) a word. It is usually used when speaking. On a test or in a text: you have: errores de ortografía. But for this site, deletrear is not needed, as it is all written. There is no way anyone can "deletrear" something, and anyone can hear it being spelled out. The benefit is obvious. You should not have a tag you can't use.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 19:41

Yes, it is helpful for certain questions to be tagged with .

  • @walen thanks, I see what you mean now. Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 15:25
  • @walen in any case, most of the questions tagged with deletreo don't seem to be using it in the way you support it to be. So if this option 'wins' it is necessary to do some retagging and fixing its scope, as well as writing a good excerpt.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 20:45
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    @walen so it seems that we are discussing about the use of a tag that is not well defined. Empezar la casa por el tejado, básicamente. So let's agree on a definition of a tag and then see which ones deserve it.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 6:43
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    @walen also, since you mention acentuación is used for different situations. I don't think we should do that. Every tag should be used for one single concept. Otherwise it does not help classifying and finding similar questions.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 7:22
  • Actually, one cannot hear anyone who is deletreando (spelling out) a word on this site. There are no sound files. So, I d,v. here but not by clicking on the button.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 19:44

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