For example, would it be helpful if we had on the side, a list of tags that are synonymous with your question, so that people won't have trouble trying to remember or think-up the tags unnecessarily. Would this be a good idea?

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Shouldn't this have the feature-request tag? –  American Luke Jul 30 '12 at 16:25
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I swear, the Community auto-bump feature has it out for this question. Is there any way to make it stop? –  Marthaª Nov 27 '12 at 15:09
    
@Marthaª If I recall it right, it doesn't ping it if there is an answer with a score of at least 1. –  kiamlaluno Apr 12 '13 at 13:51
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1 Answer

On Stack Exchange, synonym tags are tags that are associated with another tag (the master tag); when a synonym tag is assigned to a question, it is replaced with the master tag.

If by "a list of tags that are synonymous with your question" you mean a list of tags that could be used for the question, I don't think that would be useful.
Looking at the tags already entered, it could be possible to list the tags that other questions used together them. For example, if I enter , I could get the following list. (See the content of the "related tags" block in that page.)

  • indefinite-article ×33
  • grammar ×28
  • definite-article ×26
  • word-choice ×25
  • grammaticality ×24
  • grammatical-number ×9
  • pronunciation ×8
  • idioms ×7
  • adjectives ×7
  • differences ×6
  • determiners ×6
  • parentheses ×6
  • acronyms ×6
  • meaning ×5
  • nouns ×5
  • title ×3
  • abbreviations ×3
  • word-usage ×3
  • names ×2
  • etymology ×2
  • phrases ×2
  • modifiers ×2
  • date ×2
  • punctuation ×2
  • possessive ×2

If I enter , and , I could obtain the following list.

  • word-choice ×14
  • definite-article ×5
  • grammaticality ×4
  • pronunciation ×2
  • abbreviations ×2
  • grammar ×2
  • acronyms ×2
  • american-english
  • possessive
  • writing
  • parentheses
  • idioms
  • adjectives
  • nouns
  • initialisms
  • modifiers
  • mathematics
  • grammatical-number
  • etymology

If I enter , , and , I could obtain the following list.

  • word-choice ×2
  • abbreviations

Knowing the tags already used by other questions doesn't tell me which tags I should use.

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I think he is not talking about synonym tags. He is asking if, while asking a question, we could have a list of tags - automatically generated by the website after analyzing the content of the question - on a side panel so that the person asking the question would not be so confused while thinking of which tags to enter in the "tags" field. –  user20934 Jun 28 '12 at 8:33
    
The OP said, "a list of tags that are synonymous" and on Stack Exchange sites synonymous tags doesn't mean related tags. In any case, I expanded the answer in the case the OP mean a list of related tags. –  kiamlaluno Jun 28 '12 at 9:51
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I'm afraid that the tag system is hopelessly confusing as it currently stands; the multiple technical terms -- most of which are poorly or not at all understood by questioners (and occasional answerers) -- merely encourage people to pick at random, with no hope of using the tags to find anwers that are actually related, instead of merely containing the same strings. I would argue against expending any effort on creating a sidebar for tags, and instead discouraging their use. –  John Lawler Apr 12 '13 at 18:05
    
@JohnLawler You are right: If users don't use the correct tags, having a sidebar for tags is useless, as it would list the wrong tags. I would hope the tags are correct in most of the cases, though. It is true that those wrong tags have more influence for tags that are used fewer times. –  kiamlaluno Apr 12 '13 at 23:53
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