I have asked this question, originally on Scifi and Fantasy. After a bit of discussion, it was voted that it should be migrated to english.stackexchange, but was for some reason migrated here.

Yes, this is fair enough, there is some level of relevance, since this is about a line that appears in movies a fair bit, but it was still closed and the vote to migrate to english.stackexchange was once again put forward.

But coming back to it again today, I have found that it was attempted to instead migrate it back to scifi.stackexchange.

Why?? Everyone has said it should go to english, but that's the one place it seems people don't want it to go?

  • I admittedly didn't consider migrating the question when I closed it and due to getting closed here the migration got "rejected" and the question sent back to Science Fiction & Fantasy, where it still stays closed. I asked the English Language & Usage people if they have interest into the question and which version would be best to migrate, this one or the original SciFi one. Double migrations are not a particularly well-handlable thing from a mere framework perspective and we currently try to figure out the best plan (assuming the ELU people want that question, if not then you'll have to live with the close).
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:31
  • 1
    As to why the original question was migrated here instead of English Language & Usage is something you'd have to ask the Science Fiction & Fantasy mods, though.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:32
  • @NapoleonWilson I'm pretty sure the question is still here. It claims that the "migration to SF&F" was rejected. Which doesn't make sense, but who knows...
    – KutuluMike
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:36
  • @MikeEdenfield Well, sure it's here. But it's closed and the migration was rejected so it got unlocked again on SciFi and we ended up with two closed questions. Closing a migrated question rejects the migration and thus claims it invalid, unlocking the original source question again. What exactly doesn't make sense about this?
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:38
  • By the way, noone (including the asker) has flagged the question here for migration to English Language & Usage.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:43
  • @Napoleon best I can do is flag for mod intervention (which I have now done)
    – Ben
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:46
  • Thanks, we will answer this question (and handle the flag in whatever appropriate way) once the situation is clear and resolved from all involved parties.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:51
  • Also - sidenote: I'm not sure why I can't edit the question? It's my question... right?
    – Ben
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:59
  • @Ben Questions for which migration has been rejected are locked and can't be changed by anyone. This is to prevent two stray copies of the same question from floating around. If you want to edit, you'll need to do it on SF&F.
    – user16217
    Oct 6, 2015 at 1:04
  • It has been migrated to english.se by SFF mods, so i am deleting the version from here.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Oct 6, 2015 at 4:57
  • @AnkitSharma However this one does have an (accepted) answer. Shoukd ut still be deleted?
    – Ben
    Oct 6, 2015 at 7:50

4 Answers 4


I did not consider migrating that question to English Language & Usage so much, since it was already a migrated question that was simply inappropriate for our site and thus closed as "too broad", rejecting the migration. Neither did any user actually flag the question for migration. Granted, looking at the comments one user pointed out that it could find a home on ELU but double-migrations are not a particularly well-understood thing from the mere framework side of things in the first place and this possiblity thus stayed largely unconsidered, which in retrospect was the right decision, even if admittedly rather born out of confusion than careful consideration.

The situation has been resolved now by the Science Fiction & Fantasy moderators migrating the original question to ELU after the migration to M&TV was rejected. This also is the preferred approach, since after rejecting the migration the migrated question on the target site gets locked (and is scheduled for deletion, as has been done now already after the question found its new home on ELU at last) and the original question on the source site gets unlocked. It is then preferable to migrate this unlocked and previously inappropriately migrated original question to any further sites to avoid having two unlocked and working (even if closed) copies of the question straying apart and being worked on.

The question why the original question was not migrated from SciFi to ELU in the first place is something you'd have to ask the SciFi moderators, though, since we lack any insight into this. But as a general advice (even if you maybe did that already on the original question), if you (either as asker or just normal passerby) genuinely feel that a question should be migrated to another site, feel free to flag it for moderator attention mentioning this possible migration, which gives a much stronger signal than some stray comments saying "this would be better fit on ..." (but thus also comes with a stronger responsibility).


Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a particularly good home for this question the way you've written it.

Normally, there is a distinction between a question being "on-topic" and a question being "a good question". Off-topic questions get closed, while bad on-topic questions just get downvoted.

With migrations, however, the bar is significantly higher. We don't want to migrate bad questions to other sites, even if they would, strictly speaking, be on-topic there. That gives the impression that we're just trying to "dump our garbage" on other sites. (Please don't take this as a personal affront -- this is merely the overall impression we're trying to avoid).

In your case, I think your major problem is you're asking too much:

So where does the phrase come from, and/or why is it I so many different movies?

That's two very different questions, and I think they are getting in the way of each other. Lets take them in reverse order, because it's easier:

  • The second question, by itself, would probably get closed as too-broad on this site. It's such a common English phrase, that it would be like asking "why do they say 'hello' or 'goodbye' so often in movies." I don't think you're going to find a good answer to that, other that the obvious fact that it has the meaning the writers want to convey -- which basically applies to everything you see in dialogue.

  • The first part, however, taken by itself, would probably make a semi-decent question on the English Stack Exchange. That part alone is a question asking for the origin or etymology of an English phrase. That seems to be like it would be on-topic over there. Unfortunately, as-is, we can't migrate your question because the other bit's still there.

My recommendation to you would be to let this question get closed -- by now, the revision history and downvotes would likely scare away any English:SE mod who saw M&TV trying to migrate it. At this point, it's probably a lost cause.

Instead, narrow your question to just the aspect of "origin of the phrase"; you can still use the movie quotes as reference for where you heard it, and in what context, but be sure to focus on the part that you're likely to get answered, namely, "where did this phrase originate?".

Caveat: I am not a regular on English:SE; I can't guarantee they'll like the question over there, but I think if you focus it and make it on-topic, that is your best chance to get an answer.

  • I should clarify that I am not concerned with the choices made about this question, I do understand there is quite a bit of conflict with how this question has been written. However, I personally cannot think of any other way to write it.
    – Ben
    Oct 6, 2015 at 0:29

As was already said in comments, we have no control over SFF migrating the question here, other than closing it and sending it back their way. If the plan was to move the question to ELU, that seems like something you need to be addressing on SFF.

As someone who has rep on ELU, this question (if phrased more generally to a usage history question) should be fine on ELU. Etymology and history of phrases is part of what they do there and you should ask it there directly without having it migrated. It's already closed on both SFF and M&TV, so it's not going to hurt anything to ask it there directly.

Here are some examples:

But do make sure to do some research of your own to see if this phrase is easily explained in readily available sources. If you don't do some prep, it's likely to get closed for lack of research.

Also, be sure to do a bit of searching on ELU to make sure they've not already answered the question.

One final note... ELU can be a bit quirky... so don't be super surprised if they randomly close your question. It can be difficult to predict what they'll do.

  • I see that you suggest asking a new question on ELU directly, which I agree might be the easiest solution. But I just hope this won't interfere with any talks and considerations going on behind the curtains now and we'll end up with a new question and various migrations. Anyway, I'll go to bed now and see if that whole thing has exploded by tomorrow. ;-)
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Oct 6, 2015 at 1:12
  • @NapoleonWilson Well... I can't see behind the curtains, so I'm not privy to all of that stuff... regardless, I've tried to show that there's plenty of examples of exactly this question on ELU, so they have no reason to reject it for any reason other than lack of research.
    – Catija
    Oct 6, 2015 at 1:14

The chain of events are like this. The question was VTC by 5 users on Scifi.SE as Off-Topic. Off topic can mean a few things, and unless there is a clear migration option as the winner, it is just closed/on hold.

Then a Moderator, based on his reading of the question and/or users flagging, decided to Migrate it here to Movies.SE. It was then VTC to us here as it does not fit this site. Anytime a migrated question is Closed on the newly migrated site, it is automatically kicked back to the originating site as Migration Rejected. Automated process. Then the Scifi.SE moderator migrated it to English.SE.

This is where it gets weird. The question lists as being Rejected again, BUT it's still open and active on English.SE here. So the revision log on the original Scifi.SE questions seems to have bugged out. I don't have enough rep on English to tell if it has any close votes there. Ignore the revision log, your question is alive.

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