I noticed that on this ELU help page, where new users are informed about what kinds of questions they should (and shouldn't) ask, there is already a link to Writers.SE. I wonder if it's not time to add another link to ELL.

The site for English Language Learners was stood up in large part so that non-native speakers could have a place where their questions, which would be regarded by some to be "too basic" for ELU, could ask their questions. The site was stood up in January of this year. There have now been over 2,500 questions asked on ELL, and the site is averaging over 1,000 visitors per day. I think ELL is now stable enough that the ELU help page could give it a mention, saying something like:

  • Questions about basic English stemming mainly from the fact that you are not a fluent English speaker (see ELL.SE instead—the site for English Language Learners)

in the same section where it already says:

But please, don’t ask any questions about the following topics. They are out of scope for this site.

  • Proofreading ("are there any mistakes?"), unless the source of concern is clearly specified
  • Writing advice or critique requests (see Writers.SE instead—note critique requests must meet their criteria)

I still see quite a few new users asking questions that get downvoted and/or closed on ELU, with comments that essentially say, "You would have been better off asking this on ELL." (See, for example, 121300, 118493, 122209, 121881, and 113573.) Yet it's hard to imagine how a new user would have known about ELL's existence if they happened to stumble across ELU first.

It seems like both sites would benefit from a pointer on the main help page, as would many new users. (It need not be worded the same was as in my example; someone else may have a better way to word it.)

As an option, there might also be a pointer to this meta post.

Related: FumbleFingers' Feb 5 2013 answer to a similar question. (This issue has been raised before, but was last mentioned when ELL was still in its infancy, and many thought that posting a link then would be premature.)

  • 2
    Love the idea, +1! I'm not completely crazy about the wording, though. I don't like to categorize all ELL questions as "basic"; in general they are indeed more basic than ELU questions, but not always. The idea is that the question stems from looking at English as a second language, though, as you've addressed. I think maybe tweaking the wording in the ELL FAQ/on-topic section might be better: English Language Learners Stack Exchange is for people who are learning or teaching English as a foreign language. If the question stems from that, then it might be more appropriate for (cont'd)
    – WendiKidd
    Aug 12, 2013 at 21:11
  • ELL rather than ELU (though of course there is some overlap). Anyway, I know you know all this, I'm just wondering if the wording might be tweaked a bit to reflect it :) I think this is a wonderful idea, and you have a good point that there's currently no way for an ELU user to easily discover ELL. I fully support this and hope the community here agrees! :)
    – WendiKidd
    Aug 12, 2013 at 21:12
  • I have no doubt the wording could be tweaked and improved, but, as you said, "there's currently no way for an ELU user to easily discover ELL," particularly a new user. I think that does a disservice to both communities.
    – J.R.
    Aug 12, 2013 at 22:14
  • 5
    One advantage of it being in the FAQ is that that can't be seen as personal criticism, whereas comments within a specific question can be seen, rightly or wrongly, as personal criticism.
    – Golden Cuy
    Aug 13, 2013 at 2:11
  • It's also worth mentioning that ELL does point to ELU on its help/on topic page. I've just realized I'm not crazy about that wording either—it seems it was edited some time around the invention of the new help center, and I've just tweaked it a bit though I'm still not completely happy—but the point is that there is a mention :)
    – WendiKidd
    Aug 13, 2013 at 21:52
  • @WendiKidd: I stand by my suggested wording Please consider whether your question might be better asked on English Language Learners. As per this question about the ELL tag, it's not really up to ELU to say exactly what should or shouldn't be directed at ELL. My wording invites the questioner to make the decision - based on the current FAQs, which should define the scope of each site. Aug 15, 2013 at 3:05
  • @FumbleFingers: That's not a bad wording at all. My main goal is to simply let a newcomer know that the other site exists, and may be the better place to ask the question.
    – J.R.
    Aug 15, 2013 at 8:06
  • 1
    I posted a question on your usage of stood up. Care to comment?
    – terdon
    Sep 6, 2013 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's time. Just out of contrariness, I took a quick look at ELU Questions, and the page view that came up, showing the first fifteen questions, included at best three that I might grant had some legitimacy on ELU.

That's an awfully low percentage. Small sample? Yes, but I think we all know it's nevertheless an accurate representation of what we've been consistently seeing.

And I have to say, I think we're a bit too apathetic about the issue. Doesn't it matter?

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