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I am surprised by the number of questions flagged as duplicate. Being curious, do people actually remember similar questions (I know some do) or do they actually go the extra mile, searching for possible duplicates, all this so they can post a comment about duplicates?

The question of course is about the second part and targeted to people who practice it.

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Note that most comments about possible duplicates are also autogenerated by when someone actually votes to close as a duplicate. –  Grace Note Jul 14 '10 at 0:06
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3 Answers

For me, two possibilities:

  1. I remember seeing some question like it

    1a. use Google to find the older one.

  2. I think to myself, "there is no way this has never been asked before". See 1a.

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If only more people would think to themselves, "there is no way this has never been asked before". :) –  Bill the Lizard Jul 14 '10 at 0:10
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It always amazes me that some people are totally missing the capacity for #2 -- they ask a very common question and are astonished when it is closed as a dupe, or more extremely, handed a "did you even bother googling for this first" response. –  Ether Jul 14 '10 at 0:11
    
Site search works too. Haven't used anything but it in finding dupes. –  random Jul 14 '10 at 1:00
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And there is a right column that lists "Related". By looking at it, you may identify some similar titles. –  Julien N Jul 14 '10 at 1:43
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Rex gets most cases, but there are also:

  • I already answered (or once, asked) that questions so I go and find the dupe in my profile listing or using the user:me search operator
  • A few are so frequently duplicated that I recall the either the exact title or in the most extreme cases the sequence number of the primordial version.
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+1. Whenever I see regex and html together in a title, I type xhtml to my address bar and Firefox happily gives THE answer - even Firefox knows you shouldn't parse html with regex. –  Amarghosh Jul 14 '10 at 3:46
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The "Related" posts list invariably lists the duplicate high up.

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