There seems to be an unusual trend going on. Even in the meta, I am seeing answers posted in the comments sections that could very fittingly have been in the answers section (meaning someone simply posted the answer in the comments section, without any prior discussion in the comments). Is there a reason for this, such as perhaps someone not wanting to receive up votes or down votes? Or is it an encouraged convention so that the question can be viewed more? Answering questions in comments seems to be misleading since the number of answers is recorded as zero and thus the question appears alive when in fact it has been answered. Many times I have received answers in the comments that I would have gladly marked as the answer if it was posted in the place where I could do so. Am I in the dark about something?

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    $\begingroup$ See the "Related" column on the right. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Nov 19 '14 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, this is a mobile device and I didn't see the column. $\endgroup$ – user87611 Nov 19 '14 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ Because sometimes a comment is enough for the members of the Illuminati. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 19 '14 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ Very funny. Haha $\endgroup$ – user87611 Nov 19 '14 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ May they please illuminate me then $\endgroup$ – user87611 Nov 19 '14 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ A number of times I have typed a not short answer to a reasonable question, only to find the question has been closed while I was typing. So to help the OP, it can be useful to comment rather than answer. $\endgroup$ – André Nicolas Nov 20 '14 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ If I catch a question when it’s new, I like to provide immediate helpful feedback if possible — e.g., a quick hint or indication of where the OP has gone wrong. This is especially true if a full answer will take a while to write up. (I have also had the experience that André mentions.) Sometimes I go on to convert these to real answers and delete the comment. Sometimes the OP makes immediate good use of the response, in which case I suggest that the OP post an answer. Sometimes the OP asks me to convert a comment to an answer, in which case I do so. $\endgroup$ – Brian M. Scott Nov 20 '14 at 18:35
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    $\begingroup$ Why are people answering this question in the comments? $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Nov 20 '14 at 21:11
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    $\begingroup$ I often answer in a comment with a hint. Like Brian I hope to induce the asker to see the light. When successful I try to encourage the asker to compose an answer themselves, because that is clearly a good learning experience for them, and any lingering gaps come to the surface, when they do that. Unlike the two more prolific commenters above I don't really care if the question gets later closed. Site hygiene should be observed after all. Later conversion to a full answer? If prompted I will reconsider. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Nov 21 '14 at 4:36