There have been a few questions asked recently which, although they concern etymology or basic pronunciation or history of the language, might be of some value to learners. In looking over the salient Help Center advice on these subjects, it struck me that the current text might discourage some of these questions, and particularly from those who carefully read the Help Center before asking a question—when those are precisely the questioners we most want to hear from! So I've had a go at writing something a little more, oh, "lenient" I suppose. It's admittedly more prolix than the current monument to clarity and concision (thank you, Nathan, for preventing me from writing conciseness:)
This is not the right site for questions about:
• Etymology, evolution of the English language, or historical English - see english.stackexchange.com instead.
I also note that the Help Center is mute on pronunciation-based questions. A search on the word
pronunciation returns no results, even though the
Close dialogue offers the reason:
Basic questions on spelling, meaning or pronunciation are off-topic
With all this in mind, here's what I propose:
Questions about etymology, phonetics, or the history of the English language occasionally have real usefulness to new students of English. More often, unfortunately, they have no such usefulness. Most such questions will be more appropriate at our sister site ELU, but if you think yours might also help someone who is learning English, go ahead and submit it here. If the community decides that it is better for ELU, we'll migrate it to that site. In either case, you might receive a useful answer—and of course we want to see your question, wherever the community decides it belongs.
What say you all?