Not all is , but all is .

Do we need both, or maybe they should be merged?

(6 questions currently have both tags.)

2 Answers 2


In lukewarm defense of keeping them separate:

Feedback suggests direct communication like between beta-readers and author. Concepts like "compliment sandwich" and "saying something positive" may only be useful in this context (actually may be required in this context).

Criticism has a negative slant because it is about pointing out shortcomings, softened by the borrow-word critique to re-enforce a constructive/academic aspect. I don't think there is direct communication or consideration for the author's feelings, rather a critique is suppose to be about the work itself. It might even be more professional to divorce the work from the author to provide a fair criticism of the work on its own merits.

I'm not sure if that difference is strong enough to need 2 tags. (I am not seeing how they are being tagged in context, there may be no practical distinction.)

Feedback is a specific writer's tool/process, a synonym of test-marketing.
Criticism is how we describe a flaw in a work or concept: "A criticism of the damsel-in-distress trope is that she lacks agency…" Clearly "feedback" is not the word here.

I would not make criticism the sub of feedback. Criticism should be the "top" word if they are combined (not sure if there is an implied hierarchy in synonyms)


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I added to a question that just had because the post really was about both and I thought one tag was too lonely (though seriously, we discourage single tags, yes?).

is obviously the broader tag and should stay. Asking for help with is reasonable as a separate tag, but then pretty much it would be with too. There's no point in having a tag that will always go with a broader tag.

I'm fine with making criticism a synonym of feedback. But I'm open to hearing why we need both.

has 31 questions.
has 36 questions.

  • 3
    I don't see any reason to discourage single tags. If a question is accurately categorized by a single tag, then why add others just to increase the count? On the other hand, if other tags do accurately categorize the question being asked, then those tags probably should be added; but not only to increase the number of tags used on the question.
    – user
    Feb 25, 2019 at 8:15
  • @aCVn Well I was partly kidding. But I actually don't know what the culture is about adding tags that fit but are more overarching. I know, for example, that we don't add creative-writing if fiction is already there. Or fiction if the question just applies to a novel. But I'm not sure about some other combos.
    – Cyn
    Feb 25, 2019 at 15:07

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