Here’s a tl,dr summary of my position that I’ve raised up out of a comment to one of the CM team:
All I know is that our current naming setup leads to confusion, frustration, and bad feelings. People don’t get answers; they get mad and leave. English alone of language sites—but like Math or CompSci—is so huge that its several communities don’t fit comfortably under one tent. Unlike all other SE lang sites, the current EN-site naming scheme is a deceptive garden path that misleads struggling learners to exactly where they’ll be least well-served. This is the problem I would see fixed. The “how” doesn’t matter to me: anything that improves the newcomer experience gets my vote.
To the OP: Your argument is a strong one. Thank you for putting into words. Consider this recent question by mockie:
Because the domain name of english.stackexchange.com uses an ambiguous word in its first element, I think you should prominently place some sort of “announcement” that anyone coming to ELU can always clearly see.
I say this because most beginners first coming here, including me, always think that ELU must be the best SE site to ask simple questions about basic English, but it is not.
This confusion is because of its domain name of english, and also because we don’t even realize that there is a completely separate ELL website specifically geared for beginners’ questions that come up when first learning English.
When you see a list that includes both english.stackexchange.com and ell.stackexchange.com, it is only natural to make this mistake, so beginners end up asking ELL questions on ELU where they don’t fit well.
He also explains in a comment that:
japanese.stacexchange.com is for everyone but english.stackexchange.com is only for advance users. It's confusing! Btw I didn't say "It's easy to do" like you said.
We have the same mistake made, and consequent complaint levied, by people coming from other language sites, including for example the Italian one. None of the other language sites split this way. That’s because they do not need to.
But we do. And we are not alone. Other sites have done this, too. There have historically been other sites that have needed to as well. Watch what happened to them.
Q&A for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields
Q&A for professional mathematicians
Q&A for those involved in the field of teaching mathematics
Now that’s not too bad a breakdown. Notice in particular how the more focussed and professional site is not the one with the simplest name. I do not know those respective sites’ histories, but I am guessing that it was recognized that the most simply named one would be the biggest draw of non-professional learners, and so sites with less obvious names were calved off for the more focussed communities.
But it gets more muddled elsewhere, especially in this befuddlingly overlapping set:
Programming and the Science of Computing
Unix & Linux:
Q&A for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.
Q&A for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development
Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers
Q&A for computer enthusiasts and power users
Which is of course the worst name ever: this is NOT FOR SUPERUSERS!!! For that, you have to go to the site that looks like it’s about hardware issues, not superusers, even though it is:
Q&A for professional system and network administrators
Q&A for students, researchers and practitioners of computer science
Q&A for scientists using computers to solve scientific problems
Theoretical Computer Science:
Q&A for theoretical computer scientists and researchers in related fields
Frankly, I don’t understand why some things land in one or other of those sites above instead of some other of them. It’s gotten so one has to look in at least three places above for an answer. But perhaps this is just me being confused, and it is clear to those communities than it is to me. I certainly hope so.
Just look at the messy situation that we currently have in English, and compare it with the two sets of sites just described above:
You’re right that this is completely backwards. The site for any old simple math question that gets asked again and again and again does not go to MathOverflow: people would get upset. Which, doubtless, is what kept happening until it was fixed.
This is the problem we are having. Less frequented language sites like, oh, the Pasiegu SE site for example, do not have this problem. Not even the much more popular Prussian SE site has it. And there is good reason for that: they aren’t like the Math SE site or the Sysadmin SE site. That’s because English really is different.
Unlike something like Russian or the Erland programming language, people are not beating down the doors with a killer flood of questions from all possible focuses and backgrounds the way that happens with English and Programming and Math in general.
EVERYBODY wants those last set, and therefore the only way to not have an increasingly “failing” set of sites is to react accordingly, just like the others have done. We need to do this for the simple inexorable truth that
English is different: We need to recognize that, accept it, and embrace it — and then account for it.
We are not doing a good job of that right now, and it makes for a lot of unhappy experience. It makes for a bad experience for everyone. The difference is one of volume and focus.
Until this gets fixed, Stack Exchange will continue to miss the boat on something that it could be doing better, something that it should be doing better. It is not serving a community — several of them, in fact — as well as it easily could, and should. The current set up is one that’s fundamentally broken and misleading.
Which sounds terrible, but it is easy to fix.
first make site every one go to for english one who has name like other simple place like the math place and call that one english because it is word people think mean that thing.
Then make the professional site something whose name comes not quite so trippingly off the tongue, the one for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.
The fix is simple, and you have stated it: we should rename the current professional ELU site EnglishOverflow as you have proposed, and rename the site currently named ELL English.
There is no downside to this. None. Everybody wins.