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Two users said they had a rescue edit in mind for this question

Ghost, I sheet you not. I'm so ready for Halloween

but they didn't follow through with attempting to rescue the question (which is now at 4 close votes).

I personally don't know how to edit and rescue it. But if someone else does, please do.

  • 7
    Why should we rescue it? What value does it add? In general, non-native speaking users should be directed to ELL. Any question which a native speaker could answer just using their intrinsic knowledge should be asked on ELL if it’s asked at all. We honestly do not need to be the helpdesk for any and every conceivable question about English. – Dan Bron Aug 8 at 22:54
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    @DanBron There's strong precedent not to do so here. – tchrist Aug 9 at 1:26
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    @tchrist This question was removed from English Language & Usage Stack Exchange for reasons... – JJ for Transparency and Monica Aug 9 at 1:38
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    @DanBron - I wouldn’t overestimate the “intrinsic knowledge” of native speakers in genera (whatever the language they speak). Anyway explaining jokes (written on T-shirts or on a wall) has been done before on ELU from time to time. – user067531 Aug 9 at 4:50
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    I think my close vote was in favour of migration... but in any case, there was no attempt at research whatsoever. All the OP had to do was include the definition of "sheet" and attempt to explain what they thought the joke meant. On the other hand, they got the answer they wanted from a commenter whom they thanked and that probably spurred me to cast my close vote. – Mari-Lou A Aug 9 at 11:59
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    @Mari-LouA I’ve nearly stopped migrating questions to ELL because we seem to get flak every time we do it. – Dan Bron Aug 9 at 14:29
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    @DanBron Migrations from ELU to ELL are still ticking along at a pretty steady pace and doing fine. The problem is that we’ve got no system in place to provide feedback on close votes (migration or otherwise) to allow each of us to see how well we correlate with the rest of the community or how well our migrations were received. The only way ELL can correct people’s wrong impressions of what should be migrated is to come here and let y’all know when it’s not going well. It sucks that there’s not a more targeted and less confrontational way to do it. – ColleenV Aug 9 at 16:56
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    @ColleenV - I don't think you are one of the more confrontational moderators. Your feedback is much appreciated. Now, here's a question I've been wondering about: let's say I see a question at ELU that looks perfect for ELL. Is it okay to vote to close-and-migrate-to-ELL and answer the question, so the answer can piggyback on the migration? – aparente001 Aug 9 at 17:09
  • @aparente001 I think that’s fine if the person answering has an account on ELL so they will get notifications if the asker needs more clarification. No matter how nice I try to say it though, posting “y’all aren’t doing a good job of picking things to migrate” is always going to be somewhat confrontational. It would be better if we each had some statistics in our profiles to give us some feedback. Then people who are voting for lots of migrations that are rejected could get notified by the system instead of me reminding everyone, even those who are migrating the right things. – ColleenV Aug 9 at 17:20
  • @ColleenV - That sounds like a great feature request. – aparente001 Aug 9 at 17:43
  • @aparente001 I have asked for statistics before but it doesn’t get much traction. Pretty sure SE has a lot of higher priority stuff right now, I do think as an engineer with a background in signal processing that a little bit of feedback would fix the volatility in the voting systems. I don’t work on systems where the main components are people though, lol. – ColleenV Aug 9 at 17:50
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    This is a perfect example of a question that one of us should "answer" in a comment to be helpful to the OP, and then immediately VTC. I see that was in fact done, and so all of us, including the OP can live happily ever after. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Aug 9 at 20:06
  • @ColleenV - Well, here's an idea, I don't know if this would be more trouble than it would be worth, but here goes -- what if you and your pixies at ELL (if you have any) were to write up a list of examples of good migrations and not so good migrations, so we can improve our processing? If you like this idea I can write a general question that you could write an answer to. – aparente001 Aug 9 at 22:12
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    I did put a link in this ELU meta post to a query that would let folks check out migrations. It's skewed toward "well-received" migrations if you try to look at too large a range because of the roomba. Overall, migrations are positive. It would be nice if they were cleaned up a little (formatting/spelling) before they're sent over so that they make a good first impression, but it's not required. – ColleenV Aug 10 at 1:28
2

Too long to post as a comment, but it is not strictly true that jokes are off topic on E&LU there have been a few in the past

  1. I don't get this joke. Is it some kind of play on "water, too?"

  2. Why is this joke about elephants and quarts funny?

  3. Is there a name for this type of sentence structure: "She looks as though she's been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say 'when'"?
    Admittedly the OP wasn't asking the community to explain the joke, but it is still a good one-liner.

  4. Please explain this joke about two nuns in a bath (personal favorite)

Now listen up all you close-voters. Yes, I'm talking to you. You know who you are, users who staff the review queues and VTC half-decent questions along with the truly crappy ones, but treat a strayed on-topic question as if it was a mongrel by virtue of its presence. Don't think about closing any of the questions listed above, they're not hurting anyone, and most of the answers are better than good.


P.S. I note that two perfectly correct and highly-upvoted answers in the two nuns joke were deleted sometime in 2016. What was wrong with them?

  • I would have never gotten that nuns joke. Maybe I am a wide eyed naif after all. – Dan Bron Aug 10 at 11:20
  • @DanBron and I had completely forgotten why the H2O joke was supposed to be funny, if I hadn't read the top answer. – Mari-Lou A Aug 10 at 11:21
  • That one I’d have gotten. More a nerd thing, I think. – Dan Bron Aug 10 at 11:23
  • It is probably be typical of English culture to consider jokes as a sort of inferior usage of the language. – user067531 Aug 12 at 6:16
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    @user067531 I think you're mistaken. It's precisely because of English that we can have puns and jokes on double meanings. People love that sort of thing, it's pretty much worldwide. But enjoying a good joke, which the ghost one isn't, doesn't mean a question asking about its meaning is always on-topic. – Mari-Lou A Aug 12 at 7:06
  • @Mari-LouA - by what standard do you think that the ghost one us not a good one? – user067531 Aug 12 at 9:38
  • @user067531 By every standard. – Dan Bron Aug 12 at 10:57
  • @DanBron - so where do we draw the line? All questions whose subject is a joke should be rejected. Let’s start from those listed above. – user067531 Aug 12 at 13:09
  • @user067531 really? The fact that "sheet" and "shit" sound very similar has never been said or mentioned before? And...how useful is this piece of information for learners? The Dalai Lama joke has greater value, why was that deleted? If you're going to fight a battle, that's the one to defend IMO. – Mari-Lou A Aug 12 at 13:54
  • @user067531 This is where we draw the line: english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13345/… – Dan Bron Aug 12 at 14:03
  • @Mari-LouA - no battle, ELU gets what it deserves after all!!!! – user067531 Aug 12 at 14:07
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    @user067531 oh, for crying out loud. It seems you have never voted to close a question in all the years you've been here. You even tried closing a few of my questions in the past, the manspread one... Anyway, the question needs three more VTO, I would if it meant migrating it to ELL, but that option is blocked. So let it die. – Mari-Lou A Aug 12 at 14:21
  • And voila, 3 users voting to close the H2O and the 2 nuns-in-a-tub questions. 2 votes for closing the Groucho Marx joke. And the elephant question closed. Ahh, which one is it? The Meta effect, the art of predicting beforehand someone's voting behaviour or someone being pissed off by my character analysis @user067531? – Mari-Lou A Aug 13 at 8:22
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    @Mari-LouA Alas. It was a mistake to link to those Qs here. (to be clear: I haven’t voted to close or anything any of the Qs you link to). I didn’t vote on this A one way or another because I think we should have focused this thread on the “ghosts” joke, not as a venue to defend joke Qs in general. – Dan Bron Aug 13 at 11:49
  • @DanBron it was said that "jokes" were off topic, I found four good questions that were perfectly on-topic (but now, suddenly, off-topic) with good high quality answers. The questions themselves showed effort, and some even attempted research. I am saddened to see the same three or four users closevoting 94% of all the posts that appear in the review queue. Close voting is a necessary evil but sometimes all you need do is to fix a couple of typos and properly format a question to see its potential. In the posts cited above, none of those 4 questions deserve to be close voted. it's absurd. – Mari-Lou A Aug 14 at 15:27

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