You may be able to read the question I'm referring to at Why does English use singular they instead of making up a new word for this? (currently re-reopened).

Sometime a while ago there was a question asked on ELL (deleted) that was migrated to ELU by one of the ELL moderators. It got answers, one of which was mine. It was Hot, but then it got closed (by two regular users and an ELU moderator) as opinion based, causing the question on ELU to be locked. Eventually (as happens to all questions in this state), it was deleted along with its answers.

But I want the question to be unlocked, then undeleted, then reopened. I need a moderator at the very minimum to unlock the post; undeleting and reopening would be appreciated too, although I don't expect it.

I'm asking on meta just in case I need those extra people to undelete and reopen this. Looking at the number of high rep users who either answered or expressed interest in reopening the question, I think there's enough demand.

The reasoning:

None of the answers are low quality, and mine includes references to back up almost everything I said. (If in the future you do see a bad or poorly supported answer, please downvote it; one poor answer among many good ones doesn't mean the question should be closed.) The question scores at least a 4/6 on a scale of how "good subjective" it is (see Good Subjective, Bad Subjective). Good subjective means don't close!

I also need my answer so that I can reference it. The subject comes up in passing frequently enough that I've already wanted to do this and couldn't.

On a side note, I did probably lose reputation from this deletion, but I didn't notice. At this point in time, I'd rather have the ability to realize when a nontrivial amount of my reputation goes away, but undeleting the question wouldn't give me this ability back :/

For reference, here's the text of the question:

Why use singular they? Why not make a new word to distinguish its meaning?

Why does English use the singular they instead of making a new word for it?

In my native language there's a word dia which has the same meaning as he/she, but it doesn't give information about the gender of the person.

I've seen questions close to this, but they don't provide the reason of not making a new word.

Here's a screenshot of my answer (which is loooong): image link. I edited it recently with the quote from the book "What is Morphology", which I just happened across.

Screenshots of the other answers available by request.

  • 4
    I agree with you that the "Why use singular they?" question, together with the answers it drew, deserves to be open. Although I respect the acumen of all three close voters in this case, I don't agree that the question and answers have no place on English Language & Usage. Unfortunately, the deletion is beyond the reach of anyone but a moderator at this point, I believe.
    – Sven Yargs
    Dec 14, 2018 at 7:37
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    @SvenYargs Yep, it requires a mod to unlock, but I think at the very least that's likely to happen. If the mod doesn't undelete/reopen it, it will take only three 10k+ users and five 3k+ users to undelete and reopen respectively, for a minimum of 5 non-mods if three people vote to undelete and reopen. I can ping commenters when it's ready for the next step though.
    – Laurel Mod
    Dec 14, 2018 at 7:44
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    I can't unlock but I'll commit to vote to undelete and to reopen. The form of the question, a 'why' query, is usually problematic, but the existing answers in this case are sedate and informative. Also the question is itself very interesting. There should really be a place for this kind of question here, rather than pushing it away.
    – Mitch
    Dec 14, 2018 at 12:23
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    @Laurel Yay! Undeleted!... Yay! Unlocked!... Yay! Unclosed!
    – Mitch
    Dec 15, 2018 at 21:45
  • The usual way acceptability arises in English is that popular usage drives the issue. Reopening this is tantamount to asking why people generally have certain preferences in language, answers to which must be heavily biased towards personal opinion (coupled with inertia and vogues). Mar 9, 2022 at 13:00
  • I'd wholly support your quest both in general and for this specific Question… but why go to that much trouble? Why not Post a new Question, with references back as relevant? Apr 3, 2022 at 19:46
  • @RobbieGoodwin I guess it would have been easiest to stop when the question was closed, but it's a matter of principle.
    – Laurel Mod
    Apr 3, 2022 at 22:10
  • @Laurel Thanks and I thought the Question had been "unclosed" etc. I also thought Posting a new Question, with references back as relevant, might be useful either way. What did I think wrong? Apr 3, 2022 at 22:14
  • @RobbieGoodwin it was reopened soon after I posted this meta question and then closed again and then was only recently re-reopened. Let's just say that I wanted the original question open because it was not off topic, which is proven by the answers. (Though I was considering asking a new question to move some of the less related info out of my answer.)
    – Laurel Mod
    Apr 3, 2022 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


I don't understand why a post that was upvoted and received five answers could be deleted for any reason.

enter image description here

The premise for deleting posts as explained on Meta, emphasis mine

Abandoned, unanswered questions can be a nuisance for readers when they appear in search results. While every question deserves a chance to be answered, at some point the annoyance to those searching for a solution outweighs the increasingly small chance that an answer will be provided.

Jeff Atwood's answer then provides a list of circumstances for a question to be deleted that do not apply here, until we arrive at the following:

it was migrated from a different site, and then rejected ... it will be automatically deleted. Internally, these are termed "dead" questions (RemoveDeadQuestions, RemoveMigrationStubs in the case of a migration stub, or RemoveRejectedMigrations in the case of a rejected migration).

The confusing issue of rejected migrations is explained in some depth in What is migration and how does it work?

A question can also be rejected by the target community after it has already been migrated if it gets closed (except as a duplicate) or deleted on the target site. When a question which was already migrated gets rejected later, the entire process of the migration is reversed, except the original question will remain closed as off-topic. All the answers are returned to the origin site and undeleted* and are subsequently deleted on the target site. Also, the rejected question on the target site will be locked, then automatically deleted 30 days later.

But here we have a question that was not downvoted, which received five quality answers. Why should any post that received quality answers be deleted for any reason, even if the migration process was rejected? I don't get it.

[to be completed]

  • 3
    I find the automatic deletion problematic and questionable. Put first on the 'please vote to delete' queue is fine, but delete automatically, no. The question in question is a perfect example of where the 30 day wait time doesn't do anything.
    – Mitch
    Dec 14, 2018 at 14:13
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    Also, what language has 'dia' for the third person singular pronoun? I'm only a quarter way through google translate, and my mouse wrist is getting tired.
    – Mitch
    Dec 14, 2018 at 14:16
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    Just an aside: ELL has long complained about the problem of rejected migrations (EL&U to ELL). It produces a mess, as your answer notes.
    – Lawrence
    Dec 14, 2018 at 14:51
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