I went to vote on closing a question today and found I could not recommend migrating to ELL.SE. So I voted for Opinion-based instead, as I will continue to do, until the option returns, or a better option is offered.

When and why was this decision made? Seems to me I've done it recently.

1 Answer 1


To be migrated, a question must be:

  1. The question must have been originally posted on our site. It cannot have already been migrated to our site. If it was already migrated hither, then we cannot migrate it elsewhither. We can only close it so that it returns whence it came, thence to be re-migrated if the original site chooses to do so.

  2. The question can't be more than a couple months old; sixty days to be exact. If it's older than that, it will say so, and not even moderators can vote to migrate it. A Hail-Mary appeal to staff to override this restriction and do so anyway is at least possible in theory, but in practice it just doesn't happen. I know of no such successful petitions.

  3. The question owner must be allowed to ask questions on the target site, if they have an account there. If for some reason they are forbidden, such as because of either account suspension or system-imposed question blocks, then the migration attempt fails.

  • 3
    There's also a restriction against migrating questions from users who are question-banned on the target site. As I understand the system, it will still be offered as an option if it's not out of time, but will fail when the migration is attempted on closure. (But it may have been streamlined to remove the option on questions where the restriction applies.)
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 9:29
  • I understand that that's the official position, but why wasn't the migration option offered on the menu as it usually is among the local special reasons? It's usually the next to last choice, leading to a short menu of places we can move to, including ELL. Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 13:51
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    @JohnLawler I don't know, but if you tell me which question it was, I can probably find out. Oh wait, I bet I know why not: it was already migrated hither, so we can't migrate it elsewhither. We can only close it so that it returns whence it came, thence to be re-migrated if they wish to do so.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 14:57
  • That sounds right. Thanks. Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 15:09
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    All well worth reading for the delightful new (to me) word "elsewhither".
    – Anton
    Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 20:42
  • Elsewhence also works, but not *elsehow, *elsewho, *elsewhich, or *elsewhy. I've seen elsewhen in science fiction as a locative, but not elsewhere. Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 18:42
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    @JohnLawler The OED marks elsehow, elsewhat, elsewhen, and elsewho as obsolete today outside of dialectal uses. They cite the 19th-century book Leicestershire Words as giving a dialect example of “I can’t do it elsehow” from 1848. They also have a 1500s citation of “I cannot persuade myself that your mastership hateth in me or elsewhom anything except vices,” where I've modernized the spelling.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 19:05

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