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This question doesn't seem to have been directly answered (the two most relevant questions, from my search, were: How to deal with answers mistaking SO for a message board? and Is it OK to post multiple answers to a question?) But the both of these relate to the etiquette of being the person placing the answers. By inference, this can obviously be extended to the etiquette of leaving comments.

However, and this is obviously a personal thing, my own inclination is to always edit later thoughts/discoveries/potential solutions into an existing answer I may have left. Having come across this question " Equal table rows height in Opera", however the same answerer left three answers, which seemed to take a more...conversational style, rather than providing particularly different answers.

So: would it be appropriate to leave comments to the answerer asking him/her to merge the answers, or should I simply leave him/her alone?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Given that the user has already clicked through a dialog which asks them if they are sure they want to post another answer there probably not a lot you can do to change their behaviour directly.

It also depends on the content of the answers. If they truly are different then leave them be. If they could be merged into one answer then your options are:

  1. Comment.
  2. Flag for moderator attention.

I was going to suggest editing the subsequent answer(s) into the first answer - but this would leave real duplicate answers - not a good thing.

I didn't suggest down-voting as that depends on whether the answer is any good (or not) - which is independent of how they've been posted.

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Thanks @Chris, I'd been waiting to see if anyone else would post a contrary opinion, but since they haven't have an 'accept,' sir! :) – David Thomas Mar 15 '11 at 14:27

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