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This question has now got two close votes.

One user commented:

Where is the value to a new learner of English in this protracted slap fight?

When I posted this I didn't know it was such a nuanced area. I thought it would be too basic for ELU. If I would have known what the responses would be, I would certainly have asked it at ELU. I suppose it's too late to migrate it now?

I guess maybe the ideal thing would have been to migrate it to ELU early?

How can I avoid such situations in the future? (When I don't know if a question is too basic for ELU or too subtle for ELL? It looks like I'll only find out after I have several answers.

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    I don't think there is anything wrong with the question. (Personally, I don't think it's a difficult question, though, and some other alternatives such as never used to may work better in your sentence. Then again, that's not the focus of the question.) It should be fine on either site. If answerers somehow argue over the "correct" answer and can't settle the issue, it's not your fault. – Damkerng T. Aug 17 '16 at 12:05
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    The question perfectly fits ELL, is better formatted and formulated than most questions on ELL, and doesn't deserve closure. – M.A.R. Aug 17 '16 at 13:48
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    I don't think because something is nuanced, that automatically makes ELU a better fit. We have a lot of overlap in our communities, so it's not like the expertise and interest doesn't exist here. The real question is, what kind of answer do you want? Do you want something that delves in to linguistics, etymology, and historical usage or do you want an answer that is more pragmatic and deals with modern usage? – ColleenV Aug 17 '16 at 16:18
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    I deny having a "high rep!" I have, perhaps, a high glibness index, but knowledge of grammar and usage can't be quantified by a mere number, and StoneyB, FumbleFingers, and a score of others have forgotten more about this stuff than I ever knew. I do think the question is not amenable to a clear answer. It's angels on the head of a pin, it seems to me. But it shows learners that people care passionately about language, and that alone makes it a good fit in ELL. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 17 '16 at 18:59
  • @P.E.Dant Wow, I thought you had like 40.000 rep. Don't know where I got the idea. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica Aug 17 '16 at 19:03
  • @ColleenV Both are interesting, but for this particular question I was looking more for something practical. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica Aug 17 '16 at 19:04
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    In the cases where a question would be on-topic on both EL&U and ELL, if you're looking for a more pragmatic answer ask on ELL and if you're interested in something more in-depth, ask on EL&U. That's not to say you couldn't (or won't) get both types of answers on either site, so even though I'm going on and on about it, it really doesn't matter all that much ;) – ColleenV Aug 17 '16 at 20:51
  • @ColleenV Thanks :) – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica Aug 17 '16 at 20:57
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    @ColleenV - Great comments. You speak like a future moderator. – J.R. Aug 17 '16 at 23:22
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    The question on EL&U would have probably been closed as a duplicate. You wrote a good clear question tailor made for ELL. – Mari-Lou A Aug 20 '16 at 22:37
  • @Mari-LouA Thank you :) – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica Aug 20 '16 at 23:49
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There is nothing wrong with the question (being posted on ELL).*

I think the comment was an unfortunate one. It shouldn't have caused you any concern. It probably should be deleted, as it is not constructive.


*For further explication of this view, consider the following comments:

Damkerng:

I don't think there is anything wrong with the question. (Personally, I don't think it's a difficult question, though, and some other alternatives such as never used to may work better in your sentence. Then again, that's not the focus of the question.) It should be fine on either site. If answerers somehow argue over the "correct" answer and can't settle the issue, it's not your fault.

Colleen:

I don't think because something is nuanced, that automatically makes ELU a better fit. We have a lot of overlap in our communities, so it's not like the expertise and interest doesn't exist here. The real question is, what kind of answer do you want? Do you want something that delves in to linguistics, etymology, and historical usage or do you want an answer that is more pragmatic and deals with modern usage?

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I think it's not so much that the question really is "nuanced" - it more that by its very nature, ELL is likely to have a high percentage of users who are interested in knowing what's grammatically correct (whereas ELU users tend to be descriptive rather than prescriptive).

When it comes to the dafter prescriptions of Latin-versed Victorian grammarians (never split an infinitive, never end a sentence with a preposition, etc.) ordinary people feel quite comfortable shrugging off such misguided rules, because they're always hearing other people breaking them.

It just so happens this particular point is one where ordinary native speakers can't casually decide what's "right" on the basis of personal experience, because it only really concerns a meaningless quirk of orthography.

In the minds of native speakers unencumbered by artificial notions of correctness, used to is a set idiomatic phrase that doesn't "conjugate" like a normal verb - but because they'd pronounce use to exactly the same, they may feel uncertain when told that's how they have to write it in some contexts.

There are a number of what I consider misguided comments (and answers!) on the ELL page, but I don't think the average visitor seeking enlightenment will find it too difficult to understand the issues involved. If they want to endorse the prescriptive or descriptive position (knowing exactly why either may be decried by the other camp) they're free to do so. But as many have pointed out, it's easy to rephrase so you don't have to make a potentially contentious choice.


As regards the specific comment reproduced by OP here, I agree with @Alan that it's not very helpful. But it's no big deal - the net position is reasonably clear, and there are several links to related questions on ELU that should clear any remaining confusion.

TL;DR: There is no problem to be addressed as regards the specific question cited here. For the more general case, if you're comfortable using ELL and your question isn't manifestly Off Topic, it shouldn't really matter if it might also be acceptable on ELU (nobody's likely to suggest migrating it!).

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