Has anyone noticed that some correct answers on current usage of a particular English word are down-marked in favor of later comments and answers that simply show off historical research, but do not answer the question?
There are certainly plenty of questions that warrant all of the historical information and it is always welcome, but not at the expense of failing to answer the question. For example:
Question: "What does phrase X actually mean?"
Answer: "The phrase means Y. Explanations, references, interesting and relevant information..."
So the point here is that the question has an answer which the OP wanted. A marker-downer comes along to show that 100 years ago the phrase meant something else and that the answer is wrong because of it. I would certainly argue that the question warrants current usage over historic usage - ideally both, in which case adding information to comments is good, but not trying to "win" a contest by trampling on useful answers.
It does not stop there, sometimes the marker-downer, the harbinger of doom writes an eloquent answer showing all of the research and history. This gets marked up by some people, yet it does not even answer the question.
The net result is that the non-answer rises to the top of the page so for future generations of users, they may simply find the page less useful than the answered question they were looking for.
Thoughts? I guess I/we can just spend time flagging such answers as inappropriate due to not answering the question, but even then you cannot flag many. Perhaps it is simply the online culture of one-upmanship and we have to accept that questions are forgotten and they are simply a launchpad for other peoples' brilliance?