Recent, well-formulated questions may be closed as duplicates of older, more poorly formulated questions. The answers given for the latter may pose as answers for the former. However, a well-formulated question may invalidate those answers — including an accepted answer. Should the more recent, well-formulated question be closed as a duplicate in such circumstances? I think not; the more recent, well-formulated question is more likely to attract 'good' answers.
After facing a dilemma with respect to Origin of the word “bootleg”, wherein the answers are patently (or should I say smugly, because they're based on uncritical adoption of general reference research) wrong, perhaps primarily because the question is so poor (no research at all), I looked at meta questions Is it appropriate to mark an earlier, poorer question as a duplicate of a later, better one?, Tests of duplicity and Etiquette on duplicate questions for guidance, without resolving the dilemma. The closest thing I got to guidance from the existing meta posts was from the first, but the answer seemed to address dealing with existing questions with 'duplicate' characteristics, rather than creating 'duplicate' questions.
The dilemma initially presented as this:
- I could edit the old question to include research, but doing so would invalidate the answers, including the accepted answer.
- Alternatively, I could ask a new question, including research and focusing the question, but in doing so would certainly be asking a 'duplicate' question (with all the fuss and bother of "yes it is" and "no it isn't" that entails).
Having taken in the meta posts, I found my dilemma was now a trilemma.
- I could mark the old question for closure, which it richly deserves, but...the question is now close to six years old.