I put a question to this forum recently and am surprised to log in today to see it moved to a non-English language speakers forum.
Here is the question: https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/10186/the-opposite-of-vs-opposite-to

I am a native speaker and had heard several instances of the usage referred to, and variations of, including just the other day by an accomplished orator on a tape I was listening to.

Another thing I see is that the wording of the question I put was edited so as to alter the meaning of the original.

I would appreciate if my question could be moved back to the forum I intended it for and edits removed, or else just copy the question without tagging it to my username.

I will just add finally that this is strange behaviour when compared to my experiences of other forums in SE and similar sites. It would have sufficed to leave a comment on the question letting me know it was somehow inappropriate for that forum, if it was judged to be so.
I didn't see any downvotes on it either, which is usually what happens when there is a problem.

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    I can't see exactly what you're complaining about, unless it's just that you're worried people might think you're not a native speaker because you have a question on ELL (in which case they would simply be mistaken, as @terdon points out). As regards the mod's edit to your question text, I can't even begin to see why that might cause you a problem. – FumbleFingers Sep 18 '13 at 20:32
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    ELL is not a "non-English language speakers forum." The entire forum is written in English, by people who are asking about English. ELL was intended to handle questions about "everyday English," many of which inevitably come from non-natives who happen to be in the process of learning the language. However, as your question aptly shows, not every ELL question will originate from a non-native speaker. (Maybe I should go ask a question over there, so you can see that there's no shame in having a question attached to that site.) – J.R. Sep 18 '13 at 23:30
  • @FumbleFingers The edit by itself was not a problem. The problem was that the question was moved without comment, as clearly indicated by the title. The rest of your comment does not make sense if you intend to be constructive. You can infer or project what you like regarding prejudice against non-native speakers etc. Nothing of this was contained in my post. – user36468 Sep 19 '13 at 5:27
  • @J.R. I had asked several questions in that forum already that were of a similar style, so I'd assumed that those types of questions were fine for that forum. I was not at any point made aware of the existence of another forum. To repeat, it is the fact that my question was moved without comment that I am mainly objecting to. If I'd known, I would have either deleted the question, or edited so as to make it acceptable. – user36468 Sep 19 '13 at 5:33
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    @J.R. I also have to add here that your comment about 'shame' is so ridulous, I didn't know what to say. It's amazing to me how someone could read something like this into what I said. – user36468 Sep 19 '13 at 5:48
  • I'm sorry if I misread the mood of your comment, which is apparently the case. The part that threw me off was this: or else just copy the question without tagging it to my username. I wondered if that meant that you didn't want a question with your name on the so-called non-English forum, and tried to speculate why that might be. The only other thing I can say is please don't be offended if I took that wrong, and thank you for taking the time to clarify. – J.R. Sep 19 '13 at 9:19
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    @grainne I understood your comment in the same way. Just saying. As for migration, you have not spent much time on any SE site (or you would not be talking about forums), so your confusion is understandable. However, migrating with no comment is a much more common (and desired) response to questions that are perceived as better suited elsewhere. This is in no way specific to ELL, it is simply the way the stack exchange sites work. You seem to think it was a comment on the quality of your question when it was just the site working as it should. – terdon Sep 19 '13 at 13:52
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    @grainne You can ask for a question to unlinked from your account: meta.stackexchange.com/a/185669/232334 – dcaswell Sep 19 '13 at 15:21
  • @J.R. I accept the apology and thanks for explaining. The reason I posted here was to figure out what is correct or not correct. I had been led to believe in my membership here that I was posting in the right place. If this was not the case then my other questions should have been moved also because none of them were about etymology, academics etc. – user36468 Sep 20 '13 at 7:04
  • @user814064 Thanks for this. If you could put this in an answer, if you have the time, that would be great. I haven't contacted a moderator on SE before so don't know how to do that or how to identify one! Plus I am not a member of the ELL site and don't know which site should deal with it... – user36468 Sep 20 '13 at 7:12
  • @grainne Done! I the explanation into an answer. – dcaswell Sep 20 '13 at 16:46
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    @J.R., please stop saying that ELL was intended for questions about "everyday English", because it very clearly wasn't anything of the sort. (If it had been, it wouldn't have ever gotten off the ground.) – Marthaª Sep 30 '13 at 1:17
  • @Marthaª - Yes; the scare quotes were there for a reason. :^) By the way, I'm still looking for a concise way to phrase it, so that it (a) won't cause anyone to get offended, (b) better explains the ELU/ELL distinction, and (c) doesn't push a comment over its 600-character limit. I'm open for suggestions to use in my next comment. – J.R. Oct 4 '13 at 8:54

The name of ELL is misleading, see here. It is not really intended to be for non-natives exclusively, the linked answer from one of their mods explains that they deal with everyday usage while we (ELU) deal with the more academic study of English. As you can see, your question received a perfectly good answer on the other site by a user who is active both there and here. This is an ongoing problem and the simple truth is that we (the communities on both sites) have not done a very good job of defining the scope of each site clearly. Also see the discussion here.

The migration seems to have erased the edit history and that is indeed a problem. Normally, you can just roll back the edits by clicking on the edit history link. I have edited and rolled back my edit on this question to demonstrate.

  • But if ELU deals with academic study of English, why is my macaronic question still at zero points? And why don't people appreciate my last question about wegotism? I think these questions are academic in their essence. – user51029 Sep 18 '13 at 20:06
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    @AtsutoNagatomo I don't know why, how could I? People vote as they wish, don't take it personally. – terdon Sep 18 '13 at 20:08
  • I don't know if there's a rep threshold to follow this link to the original or this one to the edit, but I can get to those through "migrated from english.stackexchange.com" on the ELL question. – FumbleFingers Sep 18 '13 at 20:38
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    @FumbleFingers The first link takes me to the migrated version, but the second one works, and so does following the migrated from link. – Bradd Szonye Sep 19 '13 at 0:35
  • @FumbleFingers thanks for the links. The OP has a point, however, I don't think he can roll back the edits (never mind the fact that he has absolutely no reason to want to) now that the question has been migrated. – terdon Sep 19 '13 at 0:39
  • @terdon As requested then, I would like my username untagged from the question, as I do not fit the description of "speakers of other languages learning English". Thanks for the links you shared and in future when posting I will formulate questions so as to make them acceptable for the revised rules(or whatever) of the ELU site (or else choose a different site). – user36468 Sep 19 '13 at 5:55
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    @grainne There is no way of getting your username untagged from this question without also untagging all of your other questions (that is, delete your account). It's a consequence of the SE Terms and the licence you grant to your content. Questions get migrated all the time -- one ended up on UX.SE -- it's a fundamental part of how Stack Exchange works and there is no need for mods to comment. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. – Andrew Leach Mod Sep 19 '13 at 8:02
  • @grainne PS: Actually, I'm not certain that deleting your ELU account will unlink your name from the question on ELL. Scratch that bit. – Andrew Leach Mod Sep 19 '13 at 8:09
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    @grainne 1) I am not a moderator, I'm just some guy who took the time to answer you so I can't do much. 2) There is no way of unlinking your name from the question. 3) The rules have not been revised, please read our tour page for the scope of this site. 4) Seriously, don't take this personally, it is the stack exchange model. I've had questions migrated away too, it's normal, I am active on various SE sites and it is normal everywhere. – terdon Sep 19 '13 at 13:56
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    @terdon I think there is a way he can do it: meta.stackexchange.com/a/185669/232334 – dcaswell Sep 19 '13 at 15:22
  • @user814064 ah, thanks, did not know that. – terdon Sep 19 '13 at 15:23
  • I asked a question on ELL - but to be honest, I was a bit disappointed with how it went. Several upvotes for the question itself, but only one upvote (not mine) for the only answer (which was by a "drive-by" user anyway). I didn't really end up any the wiser. – FumbleFingers Sep 19 '13 at 15:55
  • @Andrew Leach Thanks for your reply. You may see the point I made above in my reply to J.R. - basically, all questions I have asked here sofar should have been moved if this question should have been moved. At no point either in any of those questions was it suggested by anyone that the question didn't belong. Yes, I accept what you have said that such comments are not needed in order for a move to happen. I still think it's strange though to have no inkling at all that one might be posting in the wrong place.. – user36468 Sep 20 '13 at 7:47

If you go to your question and click flag there is an option

other (needs ♦ moderator attention)

Once you click that you can request that the question be disassociated from your account. Give a quick explanation and say that you wish that your name/account be removed from the question.

This process is described here.

When it's not possible to have your question deleted, you can always ask for it to be unlinked from your account, so that it won't have your name under it.

This isn't obvious, and isn't usually suggested in response to the "Please delete my question" requests, so I thought it's worth posting this for those who come here via web search.

The function of a Diamond Moderator is described here .


For what it's worth, I have answered questions on ELU which were then suddenly whisked off to ELL with no forewarning.

Sometimes, I have agreed with their migration status because the question was really simple and 99% English native speakers would have known the answer. Anyway, that question is more helpful to users in ELL than in ELU, in my opinion. And I suspect this is the motivation behind your migrated question; opposite of vs. opposite to.

I'm not sure I would have agreed in this instance, especially if you had added that interesting detail,

I had heard several instances of the usage referred to, and variations of, including just the other day by an accomplished orator on a tape

If you had included that detail and said who was the accomplished orator in your question then it is no longer a strictly grammatical question but one which discusses the whys and whens of that particular change in usage.

I don't know what your original question was like before it got edited, if the question was more "open-ended" then you are right to feel annoyed. If the question asked for a simple "yes" or "no" type of answer then that probably justifies the migration.

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