Some questions crop up on ELU with dispiriting regularity. Two recent examples are the use of 'singular they/their', and whether an acceptable singular (and possibly gender-neutral) form of the pronoun 'themselves' exists.
These questions continue to be posted so often that I now find myself resenting even the time it takes to point out that they duplicate existing questions which have already been answered.
To discourage yet more of them from appearing on the site, I suggest that the moderators should analyse the frequency with which new questions duplicate existing ones (perhaps using close-vote statistics), and post links on the front page of the site to 6-10 of the equivalent questions that have already been asked and answered.
Perhaps the attention of querents could also explicitly be drawn to this set of questions on the screen that is displayed when they ask a question, inviting them to verify that their prospective new question does not duplicate any of those on the list.
- a lot less distracting clutter on the main page
- less time wasted by both askers and answerers in composing unproductive questions and responses
- quick and easy access to the answers to the most popular questions
- a greater proportion of novel and interesting questions among those that do get asked.
Are there any good reasons why this approach should not be implemented?