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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. Single word-request junkies who have the disinclination for such questions to appear on EL&U have started sending such questions to the English Language Learners site so as to be able to rid EL&U of such questions. Here is the latest example:

Do we need some mechanism to be able to stop this kind of behaviour from happening?

I can think of one method that might work. 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.

[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]

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    I personally think your question is very interesting, and is exactly the kind of question I would like to see more of on ELU. I agree that it's a whole lot more interesting than a single word request. – ktm5124 Dec 3 '16 at 3:11
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    I think part of the problem is that no one really knows what clears the bar when it comes to questions. An advanced grammar question might be migrated to ELL, whereas a basic vocabulary question might be upvoted 15 times. – ktm5124 Dec 3 '16 at 3:18
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    From an answer on ELL to your example: Though now a days the semi-modal (Quasi-modal) use of 'Need' has fallen out of favour, it still smacks at times of its modal nature. Write your own punchline. – deadrat Dec 3 '16 at 6:12
  • @ktm5124 If the number of linguists marches in lockstep with the number of acceptable questions, then how can increasing the the latter result in fewer of the former? – deadrat Dec 3 '16 at 6:36
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – deadrat Dec 3 '16 at 6:56
  • related: meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/9757/… You should have asked USERS to RETRACT their OFF TOPIC vote, the risk of it being closed as a dupe, was in actual fact, preferable. At least it would have remained on this site, and chances are the mods would have reopened it. – Mari-Lou A Dec 3 '16 at 8:09
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    I don't know who voted in favour of migration, except for the first user, but it's three users out of hundreds, so a little perspective is needed. I mean, I've had questions closed on ELL because they were seen to be off topic but then reopened by one caring mod. Unfortunately, ELL is the ideal place for UNDER RESEARCHED questions, and I've not arrived at that conclusion happily. And here on EL&U, the atmosphere is just too tense and some users are overly strict and unyielding on what constitutes a "worthy" question on either site. – Mari-Lou A Dec 3 '16 at 8:22
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    And what's more, they are not afraid to act on their convictions. You have a minority of users dictating their severe standards on everyone. Questions which have potential are closed, edits that are aimed to improve those posts seem to be disapproved, and looked upon with suspicion. – Mari-Lou A Dec 3 '16 at 8:26
  • @Mari-LouA It is wrong to assume that the first user had voted to migrate the question. The question was flagged as duplicate by a user under 1K rep and it is safer to assume that the first user voted to close it as dupe rather than to migrate it. Also, I don't 'see any relevance in trying to find who voted to migrate and who did to dupe. Is there any relevance? Did they do something wrong? – user140086 Dec 3 '16 at 9:17
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    @Mari-LouA My whole point was this question and comments should be about the post, not about individual users who voted to dupe it or migrate it. It is not the crucial point. Also, you can never know who voted for what. Calling those users "junkie" and saying the questions are banned are just not becoming of a user with 25K reputation points and sound weird as if he had not gained any reputation from SWR Qs and other easy ESL questions on ELU. It's wrong to assume that he has more right than others because he has more reputation from other tags, especially when the quality of Qs are not great – user140086 Dec 3 '16 at 13:03
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    That seems really complicated, Arau... much easier would be to just turn off the pipeline and go back to the way it was before ELL graduated... require mods for migrations rather than letting users do them. – Catija Dec 3 '16 at 16:41
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    This seems a little inflammatory. 'Banned'? 'Junkies'? 'Stopped'? You have a very reasonable case for moving it back, why mic it up with tendentious things? – Mitch Dec 3 '16 at 16:53
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    I'll freely admit that I'm a SWR junkie. It's rather obvious if you look at my profile, where I have twice the score of my next tag which is, you guessed it, phrase requests. What might not be so obvious is that I have grammar on ignore, because serious questions like those are beyond my expertise. This discussion boils down to, how to get people with a police mentality to not stir that particular pot. When you figure it out let me know and we can make the entire world a better place. What you propose is a feature request, which IME are a waste of time. – Mazura Dec 8 '16 at 3:37
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    @Araucaria support you 100%. Not sure about the solution but in general, addressing the problem of close/migration/etc rules being too narrowly construed is critical to let EL&U thrive as a healthy community. – whitneyland Dec 8 '16 at 18:38
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    Going a step farther, this question should have also been allowed to stay on EL&U. Simple reason: It could be useful to everyday "English Language & Usage", and wouldn't hurt anything: meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/9811/… – whitneyland Dec 8 '16 at 18:43
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See my close-reason on ELL below for where this question belongs.

enter image description here

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    Thank you @Cerberus. – Araucaria Dec 3 '16 at 9:50
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    While very appreciated that is not really an answer to the question ;) – Helmar Dec 3 '16 at 12:52
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    @Cerberus love how you combine moderation with plain ol' common sense. Thinking of the spirit and not just the letter, and about what would actually benefit the community. – whitneyland Dec 8 '16 at 18:48
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    @Lee: A belated thank-you to you! And a happy new year. – Cerberus Jan 18 '17 at 1:56
  • Please do not migrate language-specific questions like this to Linguistics -- they will be closed as off-topic there. linguistics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1660/… – tripleee Jun 29 '18 at 6:44
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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 , only tchrist♦ tops him, but Araucaria has as much right to close a , or 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.


UPDATE #1
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.

UPDATE #2
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.

UPDATE #3
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

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I don't think it is appropriate to call other ELU users EL&U. Single word-request junkies. That's name-calling and it's against Be Nice policy:

Name-calling. Focus on the post, not the person. That includes terms that feel personal even when they're applied to posts (like "lazy", "ignorant", or "whiny").

If you don't agree with other users who voted to close or migrate the question, you can just state the reasons why you don't agree and ask other users to migrate it back to ELU. It could be more efficient to post a request on ELL Meta.

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

I don't agree with this idea. Not only will it be against the community-driven mechanism of Stack Exchange, but also it could lock basic and ELL questions such as Can I use "has" after being a noun?. This question has been asked and answered repeatedly. I wonder what makes you think this kind of basic learner's question should be answered again on ELU. Why is it so difficult to research and find references for the question like this? Singular vs. Plural with Multiple Gerunds as Subject (IE: [Gerund] and [Gerund] are/is [something].) and Gerunds and Infinitives: Their Noun Roles. Should this question be answered by linguistics professors or real language enthusiasts? I don't think so. This question should have been closed as duplicate or lack of research. (Note the links above are the first two I found after searching "verb agreement after gerund/ing").

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

Users who continuously ignore the guidelines of ELU and answer off-topic and basic questions shouldn't be able to vote to reopen a question, either. You should raise this issue on Meta SE.

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    May I point out that it is not helpful on EL&U to link to a page where the very first sentence starts with the words "Both gerunds and infinitives can be nouns, ...". I'm afraid our differences in opinion on what makes a good question or answer on EL&U are completely irreconcilable. – Araucaria Dec 3 '16 at 9:47
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    @Araucaria I don't think you understand the purpose of the link. Did I claim anything on the grammatical terms? What makes you think you have an authority to term anything in English? Because you copy and past the terms used by some grammarians from their books? The issue is not about the grammatical terms. It is rather about lack of research and your behavior of answering an off-topic question that was asked more than a few times in the past. – user140086 Dec 3 '16 at 9:50
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    I rest my case. – Araucaria Dec 3 '16 at 9:51
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    One of those downvotes is mine. For playing the "Be Nice" card on junkies (which really isn't much of a pejorative if at all) and then labeling the OP as a cut-and-paster. – deadrat Dec 4 '16 at 2:30
  • @deadrat Well, it depends on how the term is used. If you agree with his calling those users who voted to close the question "SWR junkies", I am deeply disappointed at you. I know you don't care, nor do I care about your vote.I only used the therm "copy and paste", not "cut and paste" and it applies to only grammatical terms, most of which are copied and pasted by all the users including myself. Don't you use the existing grammatical terms? Is there any grammatical term that you created in the world? If there is one, I will not call you copy and paster of grammatical terms. – user140086 Dec 4 '16 at 7:02
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    @Rathony I don't know why people voted to close the question, but I know that "SWR junkies" is hardly an insult. Perhaps you're unaware that "copy and paste", on the other hand, is an insult in this context, and not, as you claim, a term for someone who uses standard terminology. I don't announce my downvotes because I think the OP will care; I do it because I regard driveby downvoting as ‡discourteous and ‡deleterious. – deadrat Dec 4 '16 at 7:15
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    @deadrat You can vote without leaving a comment, especially on Meta. If you care about discourteous and deleterious behavior, you can pause for a while and think about what this question is all about. A user who answers a very basic question that is taught in the first year of learning English thinks he can answer those questions and call other users junkies. Is it OK to call the OP a basic grammar junkie? I don't think so. I would take it pretty insulting if I were one of the five voters. Read Mitch's comment above. He is a native speaker. Also,.I don't think all downvotes are drive-by. – user140086 Dec 4 '16 at 8:36
  • One more thing. I know why people voted to close the question. Also, it is pretty wrong to assume that there is standard terminology in English. There is no standard terminology. They argue what they are using are standard and what others are using are not standard. As I commented on the main board, you can call a dog "Obama", "Hillary" or "Trump", but it doesn't change the fact that it is a dog. Some argue preposition is the right term while others use an adverb for the same word. What is standard depends on the book of your choice. It doesn't mean what you think is standard is standard. – user140086 Dec 4 '16 at 8:53
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    In order: of course I can vote without leaving a comment, but it's rude to downvote without an explanation. You obviously don't know what junkie means in this context. All anonymous downvotes are by definition driveby. Whether there's a universal standard terminology is irrelevant to the propriety of using term copy-and-paste. Sometimes I worry about you. – deadrat Dec 4 '16 at 9:38
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    @deadrat It's never rude to downvote without an explanation. You can visit Meta SE and read why it's OK or allowed to downvote without it. You don't have to worry about me. You can always downvote my posts without an explanation. – user140086 Dec 4 '16 at 10:52
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    @Rathony It's considered acceptable to downvote without explanation because this site values privacy over quality. That's as may be, but that doesn't make the practice any less ‡rude, ‡deleterious, and ‡contemptible. Not so much on meta, where downvoting can be a signal of simple disagreement on matters of opinion about which discussion might be unenlightening. On the main site, it signals that something is wrong with the answer. If true, the owner has no chance to correct his mistake; if false, it leaves the erroneous impression that the answer is wrong. – deadrat Dec 4 '16 at 19:03
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    @deadrat I think I can now recite what you just commented. Again, it is wrong to assume that downvote leaves the erroneous impression that the answer is wrong. No, the tooltip says "This answer is not useful". That's it. A right answer can be not useful while (I know it's rare) a wrong answer can be useful. Also, a wrong answer can solve the OP's problem while the right answer can't. It all depends on the OP and voters. Do you know how many blind upvotes are cast on ELU? I think blind upvotes are worse than downvotes. You and I have irreconcilable differences and let's leave it at that. – user140086 Dec 4 '16 at 19:12
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    @Rathony If you don't like wrong, use lacking. Wrong answers are by definition at least useless; they don't solve problems because they can't. I expect most upvotes are given without comment, but those signal agreement for which explanation often isn't necessary and the absence of which isn't misleading. We have irreconcilable differences now, but I'm convinced you will eventually learn. – deadrat Dec 4 '16 at 21:13

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