It seems I have caused offence in my choice of answer to my question today.

Have I broken any rules ?

  • 3
    This contretemps could be used as a source to illustrate "tempest in a teapot". No, Nigel, you have not broken any rules, maybe just been a teensy bit too quick to move on with your life.
    – ab2
    Mar 16, 2018 at 21:39
  • @ab2 I am glad I have broken no rules. Have a good day, ab2.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 17, 2018 at 12:56

3 Answers 3


The faq on Meta states "The bottom line is that you should accept the answer that you found to be the most helpful to you, personally."

Stack Exchange isn't a quiz show, so it doesn't matter which answer is first (as long as the later one isn't plagiarizing the earlier ones), it matters which answer is the most helpful to you.

  • 1
    Indeed, on many stacks, the accepted answer is expected to change over time if previously accepted answers become obsolete and are not updated.
    – choster
    Mar 16, 2018 at 21:06

Before comments are deleted

Not that important, but my answer was the first to suggest "sextile" – user2922582

...anyway, a quick search would have given you the same result. Please do your own research before asking. here. Nothing personal! – user2922582

My choice was based on what I saw when I used the appropriate links and my choice was based on my own aesthetic appreciation and my own personal opinion. A pleasant day to all contributors. – Nigel J

[emphasis in bold, mine]

@user2922582 there's one minute difference between your post and that of Perry's, possibly less. IOW you posted the same(ish) answer. What the OP could have done was to wait a couple of hours before accepting an answer to see if other solutions turned up (doubtful in this scenario but you never know) – Mari-Lou A

There is no rule saying that an OP has to accept the first correct answer posted, but it's good policy to wait a while before doing so, to allow users in different time zones to post their contributions.

  • Noted for the future. Point taken. Thank you.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 16, 2018 at 12:54
  • 2
    Waiting a while to accept an answer is good advice. Even though you can change your accepted answer, a lot of folks don't bother answering questions where there is already an accepted answer.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 16, 2018 at 13:14
  • 1
    @ColleenV - what about accepting an answer just a few seconds (5, 6 probably 10) after its been posted? Is that good practice? It reminds me of a quizz attitude rather than a serious choice based on content as ELU recommends. That’s curious from a users who has a fairly high rep now.
    – user 66974
    Mar 16, 2018 at 14:40
  • 1
    @ColleenV - OP also modified the question after accepting the answer adding (in astronomy) as an excuse to justify thier quick choice. Now, I didn’t bring this issue here, but given OP wants to attract attention, user should know more about his behavior.
    – user 66974
    Mar 16, 2018 at 14:48
  • 1
    @ColleenV - last, Though it is true a user can accep whatever answer, it is also true that they should respect and not try to ridicule other users.
    – user 66974
    Mar 16, 2018 at 14:53
  • 1
    Mari-Lou A - there is at least one more comment (not mine) which was quickly deleted in between those you posted.
    – user 66974
    Mar 16, 2018 at 15:17
  • 3
    @user2922582 My answer addresses the question "Is there a rule that the first correct answer must be accepted?" (No, there isn't. Authors may accept any answer they like). My comment to Mari-Lou says that I also think waiting to accept an answer is a good idea. Other than that I have no opinion on the handling of this particular instance.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 16, 2018 at 15:22
  • 4
    @user2922582 I did not check the timings of the answers so that was not a factor in my choice. I did make a comment about the horoscope aspect (which it is my preference to avoid) but I did (as you say) immediately delete it and edit my question to put it on an astronomy footing as I decided to bring the matter here for the community to give me some instruction on the rules. There is nothing personal in any of this. Because of your 'user number' identity here, I do not remember your postings. I do remember the postings and interactions of users with distinctive names. Regards, Nigel.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 16, 2018 at 15:27
  • @ColleenV - yes, I understand, but given your correct and upvoted answer I think it is fair to add relevant information.
    – user 66974
    Mar 16, 2018 at 15:30
  • 2
    @user2922582 That information is only relevant if I were trying to say someone acted correctly or incorrectly. I'm not saying anything about what happened in this particular circumstance.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 16, 2018 at 15:40

The only rules here are the ones enforced by software. I suppose one could be allowed to vote more than once on a given item, but there is a rule, enforced by the software of SE that you can vote at most once.

Anything allowable is not rule bound. There may well be a strong suggestion or guideline (Like those in close reasons or general behavioral common courtesy), but those are not hard and fast rules.

It would seem weird to accept a later answer that is almost identical (that's just common courtesy), but maybe the wording of the later one had better references, or made more sense, or didn't have readability problems.

  • 3
    That was exactly the difference - readability and reliability of reference.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 16, 2018 at 14:17
  • 5
    Like the others have said, in the end it's whatever was best for you
    – Mitch
    Mar 16, 2018 at 14:44
  • 1
    There are other rules than the ones enforced by software. We don't have an autoplagiarism detection script for instance, but I am almost certain that the entire moderation team would crack down upon intentional plagiarism irrespective of that fact.
    – Tonepoet
    Mar 16, 2018 at 17:33
  • 3
    @Tonepoet I suppose so. And there's also the "be nice" rule. The "minimum age" rule as well.
    – NVZ Mod
    Mar 16, 2018 at 18:11

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