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Should I accept the answer even if this is not what I wanted?

Is it SOP or otherwise "polite" to accept a response to your question (as an answer), even if it wasn't exactly an answer to your question? Or is it better to leave it be?

Consider the following question: Finding the nth term in a repeating number sequence

None of the "answers" given were really answers; rather, they were "hints" or a vague explanation of what ontological category my question fell under (not that I have any problem with those kinds of responses—if anything I welcome people guiding me to find my own answer rather than simply telling me. My only point here is that they aren't actually answers per se). The only response to my question that helped me understand the answer to my question was a comment to my question (as such it is not categorically an "answer" so I can't "Accept" it).

So, back to my question: is it SOP or otherwise expected for me to select one of the "answers" as an answer, even though they aren't really answers, or should I just leave it be?

Thanks! Btw, I did do a search for this question; if someone asked already I apologize.

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marked as duplicate by Sathya, Cody Gray, ChrisF, Lance Roberts, Tim Post Jul 24 '11 at 8:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

You'll really be up a creek if you only get vague hints to this question. –  Rick Sladkey Jul 23 '11 at 6:07
You should only accept an answer if you found it helpful. Ignore all the people who leave rude comments about your accept rate being "too low". As long as you understand the process of accepting answers, and what it's used for, you're doing everything right. Flag those comments for moderator attention and they'll be removed. That said, as Robert explained in his answer below, accepting answers is good practice, and if a question is well-written, you'll often find that you get so many good answers that it's hard to choose just one! –  Cody Gray Jul 23 '11 at 8:52
Thanks Cody, I'll keep that in mind. :) –  stoicfury Jul 23 '11 at 14:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You are not obligated to accept answers to any of your questions. However, as a general rule of thumb, if you are asking good questions, you should be able to accept an answer on at least half of them, and it is considered good manners to do so.

You get to decide which answer is the correct one. This can be done by choosing the answer that solved your problem, or by choosing the answer that is most technically correct or that most clearly articulates the solution, etc.

Generally speaking, the answer with the most upvotes is often the correct one, but not always.

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I deem this an acceptable answer. :P –  stoicfury Jul 23 '11 at 14:56

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