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So I've added a tag 'american-english' to this puzzle: "No Bake" Riddle

and I wanted to explain why.

It's because, in British English, the idiomatic phrase which is the answer to the puzzle is only familiar in one of the two meanings used in the puzzle. We just don't have the other meaning (we don't have the edible meaning - only the excrement meaning). So the puzzle doesn't make sense in British English (except perhaps to coprophiliacs).

Just explaining because someone rolled-back my tag addition, and I thought it would be helpful to explain why I added it in the first place, as it's probably not self-evident that this name for a foodstuff isn't known all around the English-speaking world.

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    $\begingroup$ I rolled back your initial tag creation, and I want to make clear that I was born in Texas and now live in Pennsylvania, and have never, ever heard of the edible version of the term. Perhaps "American-English" and "British-English" are good tags to have, but here it simply falls short of being helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 25 '15 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ @BaileyM Who says only one version of the term is edible? $\endgroup$ Aug 25 '15 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ @BaileyM If it isn't a well-known term in the U.S. either then you might be right! $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Aug 25 '15 at 20:28
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps a more suitable tag would be [regional]? I have never ever heard of it either. $\endgroup$ Aug 26 '15 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ I've taken the AmE tag off again... what region is it known in? $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Aug 26 '15 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ I would say that this might be Western to Midwest US term. I've known the edible version from travelling to Wisconsin and the inedible version from western Kansas, as well as from learning about settlers who used dried buffalo chips to heat their homes, so one use of the term is much more prevalent than the other, to me anyway. It may be that Blake and I are both from the Midwest. Then again, I only knew cow pies as packaged candy, not as a no bake confection, until I started working this puzzle. $\endgroup$ Aug 26 '15 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ I don't really like the idea of puzzles specific to a certain dialect in general; it limits the number of people who can participate $\endgroup$
    – dramzy
    Aug 26 '15 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @RespectMyAuthoritah, I agree that it does limit the set of people who can participate, but at least if we tag such puzzles or (or warn people in some other way) then people know up-front whether they're likely to be able to succeed with it. (Although that does make it easier I suppose, which isn't necessarily a good thing). $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Aug 26 '15 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ @RespectMyAuthoritah The [computer-puzzle] tag limits the participants to those with knowledge of computers. The [math] tag often limits the participants to those with knowledge of maths. We have plenty of specialist puzzles here. How is this different? $\endgroup$ Aug 27 '15 at 8:45
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with @AE that the excretory meaning is known while the foodstuff meaning is unknown in British English. I don't think I've ever heard cow dung referred to as cow pies (cowpats yes, cow pies no), while cow pies (in the sense of a meat-filled pastry) were the staple foodstuff of the Dandy comic's lead character, Desperate Dan. $\endgroup$
    – user9278
    Aug 27 '15 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Mark Bannister, that's right, Desparate Dan did eat cow pies! IIRC they were beef pies - with horns - rather than chocolate. $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Aug 27 '15 at 15:35
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    $\begingroup$ This discussion is somewhat related to one I posted some time ago. The result of the discussion was to accept that there are other cultures. Also, you were the one that answered in the most complete and explanatory way IMHO. $\endgroup$
    – Narmer
    Sep 2 '15 at 15:30
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is my suggestion.

I don't think specific dialects are going to be particularly effective as tags. There are an inordinate number of such possibilities (?) and they'd become too specific to be helpful. Not only that, but changes in dialects between subregions within regions can be subtle but significant, so no matter which boundaries are drawn, there will likely always be someone misplaced.

However, there is definitely merit in wanting to avoid or follow questions concerning regional dialects of language, and I think this tag strikes a happy medium.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think we don't need the tag at all, unless we realize that a lot of puzzles would require it. $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Aug 28 '15 at 10:06
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Hm, if things are so specific that it is unlikely that another puzzle gets the same tag, wouldn't it be just easier and straight forward to not tag it at all but put the according hint into the main puzzle? I highly doubt that one would search for puzzles by the tag. (And a full-text search would still help.)

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  • $\begingroup$ yeah, maybe it would $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Aug 28 '15 at 10:25

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