A question of mine has been suggested to migrate ELL site,
Why is there two Q&A sites for English language?
What can I ask on each site?

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You may be interested in the discussion about this on ELL. –  KitFox Feb 8 '13 at 22:44

1 Answer 1

up vote 43 down vote accepted

ELU is a site intended for "serious linguists." Over time, many non-native speakers stumbled across ELU, and would ask questions that native speakers considered very basic. This caused mixed feelings: on one hand, as the board became flooded with more and more basic and trivial questions, some users got discouraged or bored. On the other hand, no one really wanted to tell these English language learners, who were asking legitimate questions for a non-native speaker, that their questions were either not valid or not welcome.

The proposed solution was to create a new community where English learners could ask their questions without fear of those questions being deemed too basic.

A few key points:

  • Basic Stack Exchange standards are supposed to apply at both sites. O.P.s are expected to research their questions, and not be overly broad. ELL is not a dumping ground for bad questions.

  • Your question won't get second-class treatment at ELL. Many of the language enthusiasts frequent both sites, and answer questions at both locations.

  • Just because someone recommends that you ask your question at ELL, that doesn't mean they want you to "scram" from ELU. Such recommendations are directed at particular questions, not particular users. You're welcome to peruse and participate in both communities.

I would say that, in general, if English is not your first language, and a native speaker is likely to find your question very basic, as opposed to particularly perplexing, then you're probably better off asking your question at ELL.

Welcome to both communities.

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This is a capital answer: the best formulation I have yet seen. –  StoneyB Feb 9 '13 at 5:14
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Here’s an interesting thought experiment. Randomly select 10 each of open and closed questions on ELU. Exclude duplicates and migrants. Now do the same for ELL. On each of your 4 lists of 10 questions, ask yourself, “Would (or should) this question have the same open–close status if it were on the other site?” Possible answers are yes, no, and dunno/maybe. Are the answers obvious, suggesting a clear/clean separation of missions, or are they not? –  tchrist Feb 9 '13 at 13:55
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@tchrist: I don't have time to conduct that experiment at the moment, but, in general, I think it's easier to spot a question on ELU that would be a better fit on ELL than the other way around. What makes a question a better candidate for ELL than ELU? That may be hard to define in a nutshell, but I know it when I see it. –  J.R. Feb 9 '13 at 15:39
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+1 for '[the difference in sites] applies to particular questions, not particular users'. Maybe that could be part of (either) faq; it is certainly an important part of the debate. –  TimLymington Feb 9 '13 at 23:07
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@Tim: I've sensed that some folks have already been put off by a recommendation to go to ELL, mistakingly assuming that they had been admonished to run along. Thanks for seconding the notion that such interpretations would be inaccurate. –  J.R. Feb 9 '13 at 23:24
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+1 for such precise and straight forward answer. Shouldn't this be somewhere in the FAQ? –  Steward Godwin Jornsen Mar 3 '13 at 18:44

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