I recently answered a word request question without having read any other answers. In the question, the OP suggested the best word that came to their mind, and my answer agreed with their suggestion.

It was later brought to my attention that another user's answer had also agreed with the OP's suggested word, and they are now demanding I remove my answer, claiming it is a duplicate of theirs. I am unsure if this is a just course of action.

The post I am being accused of duplicating did not define the suggested word as I did, and additionally suggested many, many other words, which I did not. We both agreed with the OP, but I do not think this is grounds for being a duplicate. It's not even as though I took the other answer's idea, it was the OP's. If the community at large seems to think I should delete my answer, however, I will do it.

  • I don't think your answer is a duplicate. You can agree with a word suggested in a question or a comment.
    – user140086
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 9:46
  • 2
    +1 It's nice that you asked. It taught me a valuable lesson. The hard way.
    – NVZ Mod
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 4:31
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    Before answering a question, especially a question that has more than two answers posted, I check to see if anyone else has written the suggestion I want to submit. Sometimes though you can be seconds away or just a few minutes short of posting an identical answer. When it has happened to me, I delete my "answer" unless I feel it offers a significantly different viewpoint. In any case, I check beforehand, and I think the vast majority of users follow that same procedure. It takes less than a minute to scan posted answers, especially thanks to Ctrl+F.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 20:17
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    Sith happens. If you post an answer and later realize it's very much similar to another, earlier one it's the polite thing to do to either update your answer to mention the other one or delete your answer entirely. But if the two are simply similar, or if yours adds significant detail, then deletion is certainly not required or expected.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 22:10
  • I'll add that the word request style questions often generate a lot of entries and it's entirely "normal" for there to be some duplication. In fact, on another recent question my comment at the top politely suggesting that people try a little harder to avoid dupes was deleted, so I gather that having such duplication is "site policy".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 22:14
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    I'm very, very proud of the identical timestamps on my answer and Kelly Hess' answer to the "what's the plural of e.g." question, and if anyone comes along and tries to "correct" it by deleting one of our answers, I will hurt them. Just saying.
    – Marthaª
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


Duplicate answers, in the sense that the same answer is given but the post is not literally the same, are permitted by Stack Exchange policy. This allows users to provide different explanations, or provide their own take on the matter.

However, for obvious reasons, we do not accept copy-and-pasted answers.

As your answer is of the former kind, there is no issue with it. I have removed the comments on the answer accordingly.

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