Quite simply, as the title claims. I don't have many arguments for this other than, subversion is tool utilized plentifully in writing, whether it be subversions of archetypes, tropes, genres or expectations.

I found myself in a need of this tag when writing this question: Subverting the essence of fictional and/or religious entities; is it acceptable?

There was none, and so my question was left poorly tagged. This is probably partly my fault too, as I did not find any other, well-fitting and descriptive tags, but still, there should have been, in my opinion, a "subversion" tag to apply.

  • 3
    You earned the privilege to create tags a long time ago. You can just create it when you are writing your question by adding the text in the tag field. But it's often better to ask on Meta first. Tags can only be created when there is a question that has the tag. But it's important to talk about it first on meta. See the recent Can we introduce a rhetoric tag? and I'd like some guidance on creating tags – Secespitus Aug 4 '19 at 6:52
  • Please add some more information to your question here on meta: how many questions did you find that need the tag right now? What would the tag wiki be? Are there similar tags already on the main site? Has this topic been discussed before on meta? – Secespitus Aug 4 '19 at 6:54
  • It may be a tool that is utilized plenty in writing, but is it also a topic that generates plenty of questions? – celtschk Aug 4 '19 at 8:59
  • @Secespitus I had no idea I could. I guess that's a good thing though, because, as you said, it's best to discuss it here first. – A. Kvåle Aug 4 '19 at 10:39
  • @celtschk I would definitely say so. Look at Game of Thrones, who masterfully subverted the fantasy genre, many tropes within set genre, and most importantly, our expectations. Then, in later seasons, many were upset about the series, and a lot of the problems with it were partly generated by the attempt at subverting expectations. So, there definitely is a good way to do it, and a bad way to do it. That merits discussion, which is why it merits a tag on this site. – A. Kvåle Aug 4 '19 at 10:42

Subversion would be a rhetorical device. We just introduced a rhetoric tag; will that suffice for your question?

  • It probably would, but "rhetorical device" is a very broad term. It's always better with something more concise. – A. Kvåle Aug 4 '19 at 10:43
  • 2
    @A.Kvåle At the same time it's important that people are able to find the questions. We don't need a new tag for every new question. The purpose of tags is to group questions so that subject matter experts can find topics they are interested and knowledgeable in and provide their help that way. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with creating a "subversion" tag. But we need to assess the necessity of the tag and make sure that nobody confuses it. For example I first thought your question would be related to the tag version-control that is mainly used int he context of technical writing. – Secespitus Aug 4 '19 at 11:01
  • I see what you mean. What about tweaking the tagging system? That the "subversion" tag would be a sub-tag within the "rhetoric device" tag. So then, whenever someone searched for "rhetoric device", my question would come up. This allows for more specificism, but it doesn't take away from the accessibility. What do you think, @Secespitus – A. Kvåle Aug 4 '19 at 11:06
  • 2
    @A.Kvåle: The only ones who can tweak the tagging system are the Stack Exchange developers. – celtschk Aug 4 '19 at 12:45
  • 1
    Tag synonyms are a thing, and pretty close to what you're asking for with sub-tags. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Aug 4 '19 at 13:33
  • 1
    @A.Kvåle, if someone is looking for something as specific as "subversion", and there is no tag for it, it's very easy to search for it in the search bar with several types of filters. – wordsworth Aug 4 '19 at 20:07

Are there a number of questions that could use a subversion tag? If so, I'd suggest you go ahead and create the tag and apply it. If not, we should stick with something broader.


I'm not convinced that this is a necessary tag. It might indeed be perfect for your question, but will it be helpful to site users 5 years from now who are trying to find particular types of questions?

Secespitus wrote up a flowchart for new tags and it's really good (and should be a canonical Q/A IMHO).

Sometimes we need to make due with less than perfect tags. In your question you currently have and . In other questions, or might fit. And I know you'll think it's too broad, but don't knock .

Thanks for bringing this up here on Meta first. It's easy to create tags if you have the rep, but so many times someone (and sometimes that someone has been me!) thinks a tag is perfect but others disagree or it turns out a similar one already exists or there is some other reason not to create it.

  • Is there a way to delete tags? – A. Kvåle Aug 4 '19 at 20:11
  • @A.Kvåle Yes. You remove the tag from all posts it is on and then, when it's at 0 questions, the system will automatically remove it (takes up to a day for that). I assume moderators can also do it. – Cyn says make Monica whole Aug 4 '19 at 20:44
  • 1
    Oh, I see. I thought you were a moderator. If not, then you'd probably do good as one. – A. Kvåle Aug 4 '19 at 20:56
  • 2
    @A.Kvåle You can identify community moderators by the little diamond next to their name. See the list of mods on Writing.SE. Cyn is currently not a mod. But there is an election going on. Tomorrow the election starts and you can vote for Cyn. Sidenote: Mods don't have any other deletion method for tags. Deleting tags that aren't used anymore is up to the so-called "Roomba" script that cleans up unneeded stuff around the network. – Secespitus Aug 4 '19 at 22:50
  • 1
    Or you can vote for @Secespitus. Either way, please vote! :-) – Cyn says make Monica whole Aug 5 '19 at 0:09

Would perhaps a TROPES tag cover it? It makes me think of https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SubvertedTrope

Sometimes the writer may actually do better to play that trope straight, lampshade it, justify it, or there could be a double subversion.

It seems pretty obvious that the driver is going to smash the glass sheet into a million fragments... or is it?

  • If the car drives through the pane of glass, it's played straight.
    • If the car drives through the pane of glass, and the workers are heard complaining about why cars that are being chased can avoid nearly everything but a pane of glass, it's lampshaded.
    • If the car drives through the pane of glass, and the driver stops to explain the reason why he crashed into it, it's justified.
    • If the car misses the pane of glass, it's subverted.
    • If something else causes the glass to be broken before the car can even make it to where the glass pane broke, it's also subverted.
    • If the car misses the pane of glass but a second car breaks it instead, it's a double subversion. • If the car drives through the glass, and views are shown of damage sustained by the car either complicating the driveability of the vehicle and/or making the car more identifiable to the chasers, or the workers point out the direction of the car to the chasers as they drive by, it's deconstructed.
    • If the car hits the pane of glass, and the chasing car(s) regain their lost trail from the scattered pieces of glass, it's exploited.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .