Since English Language Learners beta is up & running (in "private" mode, whatever that means), is it now reasonable to close and/or migrate questions like When is it correct to use no and nope?

I think that's a typical case where almost the entire focus is on the needs and interests of people wanting to learn how to use colloquial English more fluently, and I don't think such questions should be on ELU unless there's some significant "backstory" involved. Which there isn't, there.

So if you disagree with me, vote this question down.

EDIT: Just to be clear. I'm not suggesting anyone should go trawling through old ELU questions looking for candidates to migrate to ELL. In this particular case the OP got his answer a year ago (and hasn't revisited ELU for months). I closevoted as GR back at the time, so I can't re-vote, but since someone has reposted it on ELL, I just don't see the point of leaving the "original" open here.

As I understand things, ELL will be out of "private beta" in a week or so, and I assume we won't normally want the same question to remain open on both sites. I'm asking whether in the circumstances it's reasonable to pre-empt what I expect to be a strong argument for closing the ELU copy at some point in the near future.

  • Concur - but I gather that migration won't be possible until Public Beta. Right now the only people who can play in that sandbox are those who Committed during the run-up. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 2:52
  • @StoneyB: I saw Reg comment that he could give someone an "invite". Does that mean my link above won't work for others. I see you've committed, so presumably it works for you. btw - if you "concur", how come the only vote as I write this is a one downvote? Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 3:12
  • It's true that private beta participants can extend anyone an invitation to join. It requires sharing an email address, but mods have access to email addresses, so you could ask a mod to invite you that way if you don't want to publicly share your contact information.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 3:14
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    @FumbleFingers because I was up past my bedtime and groggy. fixt Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 12:51

3 Answers 3



The ELL site is not out of private beta yet, so it would not be possible to migrate questions there at this point, and even if we did, the OPs wouldn't be able to access the questions until the beta is opened to the public.

Even then, when ELL Beta is public, migrating questions from EL&U to ELL will be strongly discouraged. Rather, if the community here feels that the question is more appropriate on ELL, then they will be encouraged to leave a comment suggesting that the OP take their question there.

There will be no direct pipeline from EL&U to ELL.

That's because ELL is formative and its distinguishing characteristics are still nascent and mutable. Until ELL has its own community with firmly committed ideas about its purpose, it will be necessary to prevent a flood of well-intentioned migrations from this site.

Does that mean you can be more zealous in your close-voting here? Well, that depends. Right now, OPs still have nowhere to take their questions. When the ELL Beta opens to the public, they will. Personally, I think off-topic is off-topic and the existence of ELL doesn't really change my criteria for figuring that. If you have been more lenient and forgiving, then by all means, tighten up as much as you feel is appropriate.

  • Well, as you can see from my comment on the question I linked to, I originally voted to close it as GR when it was asked a year ago. Now, I think it could go on ELL, and - Lo! and Behold! - it's actually been posted there yesterday! But within the last 3 hours I've been challenged in comments for having wanted it closed in the first place. I don't know if it was closed and re-opened, or if my closevote simply expired, but I can't vote on it again. Anyway, I flagged it for mod attention (I didn't know migration wasn't possible)... Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 3:21
  • ... before realising it had already been asked on ELL. So the primary thing I'm asking here is "was that an acceptable thing to ask a mod to do?". Obviously if it can't be formally "migrated", it can be (indeed was) re-asked on ELL. Do you disagree with what happened? Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 3:23
  • If I follow you, I disagree that the question should migrate to ELL. The question is here, upvoted, and with an accepted answer, and two good answers at that. There is no reason to change that. I also wouldn't close it on ELL. It's been asked on ELL by someone else, it is a good question for that site, and received some good answers there. However, just as we are discouraging mass migration from the community here, we are also discouraging the new ELL community from asking a lot of EL&U questions again on ELL.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 13:23
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    Per edit, I wish I'd never mentioned the word migrate now. Neither your answer nor your comment answers my substantive question - am I justified in wanting the ELU version not to remain open in the current circumstances? All I really want is closure - I just happened to mention deleting/migrating because I wouldn't object if that was how my aim was achieved. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 15:06
  • I think the last paragraph still applies. I wouldn't close the EL&U question, for the same reasons I gave for not migrating it. If you think it should be closed, then vote to close it. If you have and your vote has expired, then bring it up in Meta if you feel strongly about it and try to convince five people to close it for you.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 15:31
  • Fair enough. If it's a "judgement call" I'll just make up my own mind on a case-by-case basis. I wouldn't have felt strongly enough to bring this particular question up on meta if it hadn't been for the implications re others that might fall into the same category (and/or if my vote hadn't expired). Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 16:45
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    @KitFox: Without getting into the debate about this particular question, I have to say the absence of a migration path between ELU & ELL is kind of boggling, given that a principal motivation for ELL's existence was questions that didn't belong. Don't mods have the ability to reject a migration request if they feel it's unsuitable for the other site? Or can't we rely on the mods here to exercise good judgment on what to actually migrate? Color me perplexed.
    – Lynn
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 22:47

It seems like ELL was started in large part because a lot of ELU questions seemed like they would be a better fit in a different community with a different mission.

As such, I'd be against a mass migration of questions from ELU to ELL. If we were talking about a small handful of questions, I think I'd feel more neutral about it. However, I don't think we should start a new community by migrating a ton of questions from an older site. The filtering process seems like it would be too onerous; plus, I think ELL should be allowed to grow on its own.

Some ELU questions probably would have been a better fit on ELL – had ELL existed at the time. But I think it's best to just consider those questions grandfathered in, at least for the immediate future.

  • Don't get me wrong - I'm certainly not proposing a "mass migration" of old questions. It's just that for that particular question I voted to close as GR in the first place, so I can't even vote on it again. Since it has been re-posted on ELL, I don't see any justification at all for leaving the ELU copy open. Also, there's a strong argument for actually deleting it from ELU. I just called it "migrating" because in the circumstances that would be the net effect. Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 14:27

Since ELL is public beta, this question seems to be very valid.

Although the scope of ELL is still forming, something will be unlikely to change. First off, ELL is for questions that native English speakers would consider obvious.

So, for example, NRAQ here will remain NRAQ there.
GR are usually accompanied with no prior research, in this case they will be unwelcome at ELL as well.

However, it is good and encouraged to harvest good questions for ELL among closed and deleted ones here at ELU.

What can be done right now?
Many users of ELU are not aware about ELL. Possibly, the opposite will be the case as well. Advertise on both sites about one another. This alone will reduce an amount of bad Q's at both sites.

The only alternative to migration is when users manually repeat their question (closed here) to ELL. We can't stop it, and I think it's worse than migration.
There are several problems, however:

  1. There are technical limitations, like automatic creation of user profiles or storing comments and votes;
  2. The one who actually migrates should be very familiar with the goals of both sites. Most likely, it should be a diamond mod for both sites. Since there were no elections, it must be a global mod who's ready to throw in a large amount of their time daily;
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    I disagree that re-posting a closed or deleted off-topic question is at all a bad thing, at least when it's re-posted on a site where it's on-topic. In rare cases (the question got a really fantastic answer prior to being closed), migration can be useful here - but if the asker isn't around anymore, it does him little good. Moving text around between databases is a technical problem. Convincing folks to sign on to a new site is a social one. And the latter is by far the more important problem to solve.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 0:17
  • @Shog9 I understand your point. But what to do with a Q that is actually bad for an original site? It will only harvest downvotes, correct? Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 0:24
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    A question that's bad for the site it's on should be closed - possibly deleted. That doesn't preclude telling the person asking the question that there's another site where his question would be welcomed, if indeed there is and it would be.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 0:30

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