Have noticed lately more and more folks are suggesting users commit to linguistics and wait to put their answers there. Is it really a good idea to hold those questions off for quality reasons?

Just thinking, if we earmark those questions for mass migration instead, it could give Linguistics a nice boost when it comes up and people would still be able to begin looking into things.

If I thought everyone would actually remember and put in the effort to go ask the build-up of questions they didn't ask, it wouldn't seem much of an issue but I rather think many would get passed over. It may be a good idea, I'm really unsure myself.

4 Answers 4


You can always just ask the question and if the community doesn't think it is on topic it will be closed. There isn't really any harm in having closed questions lying around. It isn't a slap on the wrist. They can be seen as markers letting other people know where the boundaries are.

If the question is more applicable to Linguistics, people will probably mention it as advertising for Linguistics. The identification of Linguistics also helps point out the scope of this site. There will be some overlap, but the general rule is that they have very different purposes. Pointing out a question's relevance to Linguistics is just one way to softly highlight the reason it is not relevant to EL&U.


"...commit to linguistics and wait to put their answers there"???

Firstly, I'm confused re Questions and Answers in this context. Surely the relevant 'questionable' Question must already be on EL&U to provide a page on which to make the above suggestion? What would be the point of suggesting it not be answered where it was asked?

Secondly, I doubt many questions have actually been deleted because they're considered inappropriate for EL&U, where they would have been suitable for ling.SE if it existed. I don't really see any good reason for holding up linguistics-oriented questions, but I can see it might be a good idea to have them 'protected' as soon as they're posted.

I have committed to ling.SE myself, but I'm still not at all sure whether it'll fly. I think the best thing to do is simply make sure the linguistics tag is set on any candidates for future migration.

If and when ling.SE gets going, all existing questions with that tag should just be copied to it. The originals can be left where they are (maybe marked 'closed' in appropriate cases).

  • I agree the tag keeps it well segmented. Again, I'm unsure of what the logic on closing them is. You are probably right about deletion. Do you know if or how much of linguistics was formed here? May 22, 2011 at 6:31
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    @Garet Claborn: Not sure what you mean by "how much of linguistics was formed here". I think nearly all those who've committed to ling.SE are members of EL&U, and mostly 'active', if that's what you're getting at. May 22, 2011 at 14:27
  • That's exactly what I mean May 23, 2011 at 2:16

If you're doing it for the sake of ELU, then I'm right behind you. I only hope Linguistics can have the same nice design that we have!

  • Even though I've been toeing the line of enforcing off-topic-ness in others and barely skirting it in my own, I see the problem of self-censorship.

  • I have been saving (my few) questions up in a file.

Do you think it would be better to just post the good but off-topic multi-language or linguistic questions on ELU -just- to have them closed, but to have a record of them to be reposted/migrated when/if ling.SE goes to beta? Or is the asynchronous posting of 'new' questions more liable to better response/quality?

Actually...what is the StackOverflow view? (there are lots of similar branching issues with other areas like computer topics)

Addendum: I asked this directly over at meta.SE: Off topic questions that are on topic for a commit phse area51 site. There was only one answer (so far) relevant to our difficulty ("just remember the question") but I'd prefer to see other ideas.

  • importantly, I think asynchronous posting would be great. Too much to sort through. I'm somewhat confused at the idea of closing them though. Before linguistics was proposed, were English linguistics on-topic here? May 22, 2011 at 6:14
  • *most importantly May 23, 2011 at 2:16
  • @FumbleFingers: I'd think English linguistics has always been on topic here. I sorta assumed that's what the topic actually is. But English specific linguistics is pretty far from linguistics as a whole. You really can't talk about language universals here with English as the only example, it needs to be -about- English to be on-topic.
    – Mitch
    May 24, 2011 at 20:07

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