In a previous meta question, we decided that the sorting tags should not be merged. I am fine with this.

Currently, however, there is a peculiarity among the 6 major sorting algorithm tags:

you can find these tags by typing "sort" into the Tags page.

I noticed that is the only one without a hyphen. Is there the rationale for irregularity? I believe that the term merge sort is more common than mergesort, so the only explanation that makes sense to me is that the two words somehow get merged together during the merge sorting process; that said, this operation does not seem to be a normative step of the merge sort algorithm.

I tried to create the tag and redirect to it, but the system prevented me from doing this:

error message

That's why I came here to propose that be renamed to . What do you think?


  1. If merging two words is a mandatory step of the sorting operation, then we should choose quick sort, because the term quicksort is much more common than merge sort AFAIK.

  2. There is another tag named , which also appears to be a sorting algorithm. However, there is only one question tagged at the time of this writing, so I did not count it as a major sorting algorithm tag.


1 Answer 1


It's complicated.

There are a lot of sorts around, and their spelling varies. The rationale for the irregularity is likely that their names are irregular. Radix sort has a space between them, quicksort has not. It is like this on Stack Overflow as well.

With hyphen:

  • bubble-sort
  • insertion-sort
  • selection-sort

Without hyphen:

  • quicksort
  • mergesort
  • qsort
  • heapsort

It's a long list, find theirs here and search on 'sort'. If I take a look at Wikipedia, it's inconsistent there as well.

I'm in favour of consistency, but perhaps we should take this to MSO. Figure it out over there and use the same naming scheme here. Otherwise we just trade one kind of inconsistency for another. I'm not sure it's worth the trouble though. Do we want a consistent list, or the official names for the sorts? Who determines what the official name is?

Once there's some kind of agreement on what to do, moderators can actually rename tags.


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