This might seem superfluous, and it's probably already stablished in the stack exchange community as a whole, but it would be good to standardise anyway.

When tagging questions, should we use load or loading? align or aligning?

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Go with the gerund. The intuition for tag names is that they complete the sentence “this question is about ____”. Infinitives are a poor fit.

Looking at existing sites, a tag called align exists only on TeX, where it's a proper noun and not the verb; aligning exists nowhere; alignment exists on 10 sites. A tag called load exists on many sites, but it's about the system load (so a noun), not about the verb (at least officially: it does get a lot of misuse, where “load” is used to mean “I happen to be loading something” instead of “this question is about loading something”).

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I believe that the load/align form is more natural. They fit nicely into the thought-phrase "I want to ____ X".

The -ing form fits into "I am _ X", but questions are asked when one wants to do (or know how to do) X, not when one is doing X.

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  • Does anyone know the grammatical terms for each of these forms? – J David Smith Sep 26 '14 at 13:26
  • I think that's simple present load and present participle (imperfect) loading – Jonathan Leech-Pepin Sep 26 '14 at 13:41

I would go with load/align for verb tags.

Treat it as an imperative. You are trying to tell Emacs to verb. To go with what J David Smith said, -ing is what you are looking to do, while you are looking for the method to get Emacs to do what you want.

This also matches Emacs convention on commands for the most part. fill-*, align-*, comment-*, *-get-*.

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