There are hordes of dubiously labeled duplicates on this site. Many tie questions with titles that are so diverse that there is no way a person looking for one the Qs would ever search for the wording in the other. And on the whole, we spend a fair bit of effort doing a basically bad job of managing them. What is the point?
It is to be expected to find an answer already posted somewhere on ELU. If Q1 asks what rule applies here and A1 says you use this rule because ..., then it's reasonable that there will be many questions that A1 applies to that are not duplicates. The current duplicate notification bubble states "This question already has an answer here:". This is a terrible wording because it appears to sanction closing a Q just because there is an answer somewhere else. This notification should only be used on Qs that are not duplicates.
I propose a strong test for duplicate closure - 1. Unless replacing the Q's title with the alternative title improves the Q, don't close it as a dup. Just point to the alternative as a related Q, and treat A's in the alternative as fair game in answering this Q. (Which might mean a new feature of two be added to make this fair to all.) And 2. The alternative must actually have an authoritative answer. Both 1. and 2. must be true to close, otherwise, the OP should be prompted to consider whether they are dups, and the OP's opinion should be respected.
- What impact would such a strong test have on the site?
- Would new features be desired to implement it, such as crediting someone whose answer to a different question was referred to?
- If this is too restrictive, why is it too restrictive? How do duplicate closures benefit the site and why would a tight policy not attain those benefits.
- Can we please change the wording in the duplicate closure bubble so it isn't about answers, but about questions?
ADDED: Laurel's answer linked to an existing blog on the subject - https://stackoverflow.blog/2010/11/16/dr-strangedupe-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-duplication/
This seems to cover the same issue and does answer one of my questions. The persistence of related questions that may actually have identical answers isn't a problem.
It also points out the putoffish structure that is created when referring a commonly asked question to a funny question that contains a canonical answer. I mentioned this in one of my comments to Laurel's answer as well.