Recently, I posted a question (this one) and received some helpful answers. However, the answers did not help me solve my issue. So, I posted another question (this one) explaining my thinking and sources of confusion.

However, my question was quickly closed (luckily, I got the necessary answer before that). Looking at the duplicate information, it says:

If those answers do not fully address your question, please edit this question to explain how it is different $\textbf{or ask a new question}$.

I prefer to ask a new question explaining my thinking, rather than hoping an old question will be rediscovered and answered after a day, even with my edits. Since the repeated question received a negative response, could someone clarify why the implied rules for duplicate questions are not the same as the written rules?

Just to clarify, I am very grateful to everyone who takes the time to help me, and I just wanted to clarify the policy for my understanding.

  • $\begingroup$ BTW you do not have to use MathJax to get bold/italics, you can use markdown. For example, instead of $\textbf{or ask a new question}$ (which renders as $\textbf{or ask a new question}$) you could have written **or ask a new question** (which renders as or ask a new question). $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


You chose to put emphasis not on the main suggested course of action. The message really meant to say

If those answers do not fully address your question, please edit this question to explain how it is different or ask a new question.

and there is a good argument that the "or" clause should be dropped altogether. (Also discussed here).

Whatever the sentence says, the underlying idea of SE is to have thorough answers paired with good questions, not fragmented answers scattered across copies of the same question. If the original answers are not clear enough, they should be improved, otherwise what will future readers find in the original thread? Marking the second post as a duplicate serves a good purpose: keeping explanations in the same place. Toward the same purpose, two copies of the questions should probably be merged by a moderator.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree that it is more efficient to have one proper question. If a new comment is made to the question, does it move to the top of the recent questions page? I am happy to edit the question, but my concert is that comments/edits will not be noticed since time has passed. $\endgroup$
    – kiwifruit
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 5:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @kiwifruit Comments do not bump the question to the top, but edits do. $\endgroup$
    – user127096
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 5:37

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