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I'm with English Language & Usage forum almost three months, but still not clear about the difference between 'Up-vote' and 'Accepted' answer. What does come up when I click Check (Accepted) mark vis-a-vis Up vote mark?

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It means this:

I, as the question owner, found this particular answer most helpful for my needs.

It is not required. We view it as more of a social convention than anything else.

Note that it also has a few effects:

  • gives answerer +15 rep, gives you +2 rep
  • "docks" the answer to the top of the answer list regardless of sort order

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