I was surprised that this question was migrated to ELL:

Is there a word where ‘w’ can not be replaced?

It seemed to generate some interesting answers, and other than maybe a lack of research (which can be fixed) I don’t see any reason why it would be off-topic. It’s not off-topic or unwelcome on ELL; I am just curious why y’all didn’t want to hang on to it.

I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been closed, or shouldn’t have been migrated. I just wanted to understand why it wasn’t interesting to EL&U.

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    The general benchmark applies: if the user is clearly struggling with issues specific and endemic to ELLs, then the crowd at ELL expert in such struggles and the pedagogical tools to address them are better suited to helping OP get the help he needs, in both the short term and long term. Also, from an ELU selfish lens: the premises of the question are so obviously flawed that the question holds no particular interest. It might have done if this w/v confusion among Hindic language speakers were more obscure or in some other way I stood to learn something from it, but as it is, I won’t. – Dan Bron Jun 21 '19 at 20:14
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    Note that OP of that question has one thing written in their "About me": "Learner". – Laurel Jun 21 '19 at 20:47
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    @Laurel having “learner” in your profile doesn’t make a question off-topic. – ColleenV Jun 21 '19 at 22:00
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    My name is on the list of those who voted to close it. But I did not vote to migrate it to ELL. I'm increasingly annoyed by the tendency to simply migrate things over to ELL. I voted to close it as being primary opinion-based, because it's asking why (or at least part of it is; the other part seem too broad), a question to which I can see no objective answer. I have just voted to close it at ELL now, for the same reason. – Jason Bassford Jun 21 '19 at 23:20
  • @ColleenV That is true, but the help center scope for each website is almost identical, so in the sole consideration of subject-matter we may as well just keep all of our questions here, and especially so for the good ones. The best explanation I have been given for the independent existence of each website is that the intended readership for each website is different, and each website may be able to address questions in a manner that is more conducive to the questioner's needs. The learners mentioned in E.L.L's. tour are going to need different answers than scholars mentioned in our own. – Tonepoet Jun 26 '19 at 16:48

Well the noted lack of research is one thing. Our research standard implies that E.L.L. may be a better place for unresearched questions, irrespective of whether it is true or false so that may account for much of the reason. More importantly though, note that this question is not asking why, but rather if the two are interchangeable. I see that at least one other question regarding the relationship between V and W was unilaterally closed by a moderator as General Reference. (Not "Please include the research…" mind you, but General Reference, so that is an old closure.)

Since I am on meta, I also feel free to posit some unproven guesswork: The pronunciation of each consonant is very distinct, and even if somebody lived in a region where the dialect rendered these indistinct, I suppose that they would at least understand that this is quite non-standard, if not only because other people would point out the distinct feature of the accent which renders these continents confusable. This is sufficiently demonstrated by the common word pairs of the top voted answer, and the fact that it mentions a 19th century Cockney accent, rather than any contemporary one. I struggle to think of any one word where the two letters sound just alike, including the granted examples.

Moreover, even in cases where its letters phonetically interchangable, the orthography of English is mostly settled, with most of the differences between American and Commonwealth orthography being in the termination. Normally, nobody would replace the c in cat with a k, even if the end pronunciation is the same. The answer to if is clear by means of commonly shared knowledge among native speakers.

Now I am ignorant to how the orthography of other languages works, but this seems like a question that is much more likely to be devised by, and hence useful for nonnative speakers just starting to learn English starting from a language with less rigid orthography.

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    That this is general reference on ELU is interesting. ELL however is not a dumping ground for questions with no research. It actually makes things more painful when you migrate those, because we can’t put them on hold without rejecting the migration. – ColleenV Jun 21 '19 at 22:04
  • @ColleenV Yeah, I know. It is a frequent request from your side of matters, and I know that questions which are substandard for the target website should not be migrated. If we're asking what did happen, rather than what should happen though, Laurel's link to the profile suggests it is especially likely with a -5 score. If I recall correctly, the system only auto-votes against a question once at most, and if that is correct then at least four of the five migrators did not like that question for some reason, if not all five. I am not one of them though, so this is purely supposition on my part. – Tonepoet Jun 21 '19 at 22:37
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    @ColleenV It’s a bit disingenuous to start your Q out by saying “this is a good Q”, and then say “this is a bad Q I am upset you migrated you migrated it to ELL”. – Dan Bron Jun 21 '19 at 23:40
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    @DanBron I would not quite call it disingenuous. Colleen may have very well given us a genuine first impression of the question, but that does not mean that this rationale wouldn't be disappointing. It's the difference between getting chocolates from your valentine who got them specifically to show their appreciation for you, and getting chocolates from somebody who hated the coconut filling and just didn't want to waste them. The end result may be the same, but the sentiment is different as well as what you might expect in the future. – Tonepoet Jun 22 '19 at 0:01
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    @Tonepoet We are here to evaluate questions, not motivations. – Dan Bron Jun 22 '19 at 0:02
  • @DanBron I didn’t say it was a good question exactly, although I can see how I gave that impression. The answers make it worth keeping, and it’s possible that the question could be fixed, except it’s more difficult because we can’t put it on hold if we want to keep it. If the author doesn’t make an account on ELL, it’s a bit more difficult to engage them as well. – ColleenV Jun 22 '19 at 10:53

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