Emphasis in bold mine
Apparently, questions which actually ask about aspects of the English Language which might be interesting to linguists, etymologists or serious language enthusiasts are now banned on EL&U.
No, that's not true.
Interesting questions about linguistics are not banned, but they can be put on hold due to lack of research, which was not the case here. They can be closed for being a duplicate, which didn't happen here. They can be put on hold for being unclear, but nobody cast their vote for that reason. And finally, they can be migrated to ELL because some users believe the answer is relatively straightforward, which is exactly what happened in this case.
So if we really want to be picky, the question was not banned, it was not closed, but it was relocated. Cerberus has offered a solution; however, I believe only the mods at ELL can bounce this question back to EL&U. (see update)
Certain types of question, for example grammar, syntax, phonetics and etymology questions – that may often be answered by linguistics professors or real language enthusiasts – should be protectable by users who have sufficient reputation in relation to that tag, or related tags in order to stop them being closed by careless users.
Who or what defines a "real language enthusiast"? Presumably any user who has been a member for at least six months and has answered perhaps thirty unrelated questions could qualify.
Let's look at the numbers. The first user who cast their vote to close the question has over 10,700 rep; the second has just over 6,000 rep and has been a member of EL&U for almost six years. The third user has earned nearly 10,500 rep, but the fourth is a relatively new member (only 4 months); and the last user, whose vote meant that the question was doomed for migration, even if they cast their close vote for a totally different reason, has also been a member for nearly 6 years and has nearly 40,000 rep to their credit.
Objectively speaking, four out the five users have the necessary experience, and a passion for the English language which qualifies them as being fully-fledged enthusiasts, and there may even be a graduate of English or linguistics hiding among them for all we know.
[I also feel that people whose primary tag is for SWRs shouldn't be able to close-vote questions which don't have a SWR tag, but that's another question]
I think each and every one of these five users has as much right to cast a vote as an esteemed linguist or student of linguistics. In addition, not one of the five users has the SWR dupe hammer, but each and every one one has SWR as their number one tag. On the other hand, Araucaria's most successful tag is pronunciation, only tchrist♦ tops him, but Araucaria has as much right to close a single-word-request, meaning or word-choice question, as any user who has earned that same "privilege".
Do we need some mechanism to be able to stop this kind of behaviour from happening?
The SE system for closing questions as is, generally works. The type of mistake that happened on this occasion is rare, but it will happen again, no democratic system is perfect. And ensuring only a specific group of users the privilege of closing or reopening linguistic or grammar questions, would smack of elitism to me.
Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement and a simple solution is the following. Before casting a vote to migrate a basic English question to ELL, read the entire question, not just the question title, and ask yourself: "Would I be able to answer that question satisfactorily without doing any research?" If the answer is "no", the question should probably stay on EL&U.
The question is back home. Yay!!
Among the five users who cast their votes in favour of migration (it was visible on the ELL page) are two who have earned the SWR dupe hammer, one of them was me. The other was JOSH (who I don't think will mind my mentioning his name). If we had been excluded from casting a vote, it is likely that the question would have taken longer to migrate, so bear this in mind the next time you (Araucaria) are tempted to take a (gentle) swipe at those users who may also have the SWR dupe hammer. We kinda get it when a question is worth saving.
The question "The carrots need being chopped" and "The carrots need to chop" has been reopened, but within minutes a bounty was hastily placed in order to prevent its third closure.
For now, the "carrot" question is safe.
The question has been locked for 21 hours, it is now impossible to edit the question, upvote any comment, or cast any vote on the actual question itself. And no new answers can be submitted. :(
Related: Please can we take more care over duping