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33

I think I'll post this as an answer, because some of the opinions expressed in the comments seem so WRONG to me, not just in and of themselves, but also as a basis for a site. First of all, we CANNOT define this site as "questions that can be answered by a native speaker with no particular expertise", because another way to describe those questions is ...


20

This is something that will very likely take a few weeks at the very least to figure out, as ELL and EL&U figure out their boundaries, so to speak. Thus, very rough guidance follows: If you natively speak English or are fluent in it, it is more than likely your question belongs on EL&U. If you are not yet fluent in English, or your question is one ...


17

All right, I've been trying to compose this answer for quite some time now. I'm not sure if it's going to come out the way I intend, but here goes! (Note: this answer is in part a response to the original question, and in part a response to other answers' suggestion that we change our scope to be about "everyday English." So if there is any confusion, you ...


15

I agree that this site should include questions about pedagogy. I would argue that pedagogy should even be one of the major topic areas. I also agree that the cited question should have been closed. It is asked much too broadly. I think questions like What are the considerations/advantages/disadvantages to using this specific teaching method for this ...


13

We brought this up in a proposal discussion. I'll copy my suggestions here. ELL is intended to be geared toward the needs of both people learning English and people teaching English. I feel these general topics encompass many of those aspects: article usage (a, an, the, no article) preposition usage verb tense basic, common syntactical structures ...


13

This formula wraps up two very different close reasons under the artificial rubric of "insufficient detail". I am in complete sympathy with the desire for more context. Many of the most difficult questions that have appeared here, especially those dealing with idiom and syntax and verb forms, have far too little context to be answered straightforwardly. ...


11

I have seen previous questions based on typos getting closed. Here's the proof. I'm personally for closing them, since they won't benefit anyone else. the answer would shift from being based on expertise in linguistics/terminology/whatever to being based on . . . whatever. they're not about English, any more than this question is. If I sit and think more ...


11

For this sort of question to be on-topic (and I think it can be) I think you just need to avoid asking "how would you name this product?" I would say "I chose this word to name a product because I thought it would make people think of X and Y, but now my friend says that it's a bad name because Z. The product is a type of sth. Does the word have a bad ...


11

This has been a perennial topic of discussion since the first day of the proposal, and the split has always proven sufficiently valuable to justify. WendiKidd ♦ has a good explanation of many of the nuanced differences between ELL and EL&U. Your point 1 has been addressed many times in the past for many other sites on SE. Put simply, scope overlap ...


10

This was fought out on ELU back in the summer of '11, mostly between the mods and the SE Powers-That-Be. (Before my time, but it's fascinating to go back and read the discussions on Meta there, sort of like Classical tragedy where all the real action takes place off stage!) The accommodation eventually reached seems to have been that coarse language should ...


10

Much like puns, idiomatic expressions can be tricky for a non-native to understand. I have no problem with welcoming questions about idioms. However, you've touched upon a key point in your question. There are two ways to ask just about any question. The first is impetuously – you wonder about something, and then ask about it off the cuff, without even ...


9

How about this: If you have something to ask about a certain linguistic element for your own practical use, ask on ELL; If you are not mainly concerned with using the element yourself, but instead you would like to know more about it, such as how it came to be, whether there is a pattern behind what you observe, etc., ask on EL&U. This means that ...


9

I think such questions can be on topic. It would be important to scope the question reasonably. Your question seems great. On the other hand I would not want to see a question like "what are some English resources online".


9

I hate to disagree with WendiKidd here (we don't often disagree, and I think it's a good point, well made). But whereas I hope I don't often fall into the trap of posting an answer to a question that's subsequently (correctly) closed, I do often "answer" in a comment while closevoting. Maybe this does encourage more Off Topic questions - but at least if a ...


9

The purpose of ELL, like every other Stack Exchange site, is to build a reference to help learners. As an asker, your job is, ideally, to ask questions that help you and others at the same time. This is pretty tricky, though, because it's hard to tell what will actually be useful in the future. So occasionally you'll run into surprises where a question is ...


9

The "Please edit to add the research you have done" part of that close reason is easy to abuse, but it does have a purpose. I think that the "lack of research" attitude could be the start of a problem, so I'm glad you brought it up. However, we should not absolve authors of responsibility for the fate of their questions. If someone ignores guidance from the ...


8

Topics of this sort may not make for very good Questions, but the Answers are invaluable. Annotated bibliographies and book reviews are fundamental to every academic discipline. A thoughtful post by someone whose opinions I've come to trust about the strengths and weaknesses of this dictionary or that corpus or the other research technique would be very ...


8

This site, unlike ELU.SE, is about helping those who are not (yet) familiar with the language. The help can be either direct, asking questions by yourself and receiving answers, or indirect, helping teachers (usually, non-professionals) to help others. I clearly imagine a manager of a small professional team (e.g., an I.T. lead in India) who wants to ...


8

It's true that historically discussion of taboo speech has itself been taboo, and even many linguists once avoided discussion of taboo speech. That said, in recent decades linguists such as Ruth Wajnryb, Geoffrey Nunberg, and John McWhorter have published works describing taboo speech of all sorts objectively, which should tell us something: It's possible ...


8

Although there are a number of differences between the two sites, the key difference is right there in the name: English Language Learners (ELL) is about helping people learn English English Language and Usage (ELU) is really about the study of English Language and Usage from a largely academic perspective. If your question is really about how to speak, ...


7

I don't accept OP's contention that an SE site must suffer problems if there's a disconnect between askers and answerers. Over on ELU, I've asked more questions than anyone else in the top half-dozen - but at 52, that's dwarfed by my 1336 answers as I write. I also don't accept the accusation that I and others who supported the ELL proposal did so purely in ...


7

I absolutely see your point, but I think you're drawing too much of a correlation between native speakers vs non-native speakers and "those who answer questions" and "those who ask questions". Just because I am a native speaker doesn't mean that I will never have a question to ask on this site. On the other hand, just because English is not someone's first ...


7

I hope they are allowed, but if they aren't, then we should consider allowing them on the meta site, like Japanese Language & Usage does.


7

For some time now, I’ve thought this was less about the particular question being asked than it is about the kind of answer being sought. If you are learning English, and you’re struggling with some particular issue, and you’d like some native speakers to help guide you, then there’s a good chance that ELL is the right place to ask. That’s what the ELL ...


7

This was in fact the first question raised in the Area 51 Discussion which led to opening the site: Why limit the new group to ESL, Jun 22 '12 It was also debated in this question the same day: Defining topicality, Jun 22 '12 It was raised again after SE had closed the Proposal and then reopened it; again as the Proposal gained steam; and once more ...


7

First of all, see also: How do I determine whether a question fits on English Language & Usage or on English Language Learners? What is the difference between the "English Language & Usage" and "English Language Learners"? You'll also note that in the question you asked over on ELU's meta, the top rated answer is from J.R. who ...


6

The site needs to attract experts in ELL pedagogy to succeed, and it should therefore serve the experts by entertaining questions about pedagogy.


6

I think we have a failure to communicate here. You wrote: Could anyone explain why MCAT is required to take for students. This doesn't look like a question about English. But I now believe that you do have a question about the English language. It seems that you want to know specifically what the MCAT is, when it's taken and for what purpose. That's ...


5

I've mulled this one over for a long time now, and I've realized that the right place to ask not only depends on the nature of the question, but sometimes it depends on the nature of the answer sought. If you'd like someone with a strong background in linguistics to give an explanation that goes something like this: These two accusatory words come from ...


5

I think that questions about slang and coarse language are quite helpful for learners, especially since dictionaries (including many online dictionaries) and textbooks rarely if ever give satisfactory definitions and usages for it. And learners will encounter it in nearly any communication with native speakers. That said, I do agree that questions involving ...


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