I asked a question on the german language stack exchange, and have gotten several very good answers. Unfortunately, what I forgot to take into account when asking it, was that I have no way of telling which answer is correct! Because I am asking about colloquial usage, rather than something that has a verifiable right or wrong solution, I don't know which of the answers should be marked correct.

What do I do?

  • 8
    You don't have to accept any of the answers. – Oded Apr 22 '14 at 13:14
  • @NickStauner - The irony is that neither one of those duplicates have accepted answers :) – Travis J Apr 22 '14 at 22:32
  • @TravisJ: Thanks for pointing that out. Maybe the greater irony is that my flag was marked as helpful nonetheless :D – Nick Stauner Apr 22 '14 at 22:33
  • @NickStauner - The reason for that is there are actually answers present there (granted, no check marks). And marking as duplicate tends to be accepted if the duplicate question has an answer which also answers the current question. – Travis J Apr 22 '14 at 22:39
  • Fair enough; your observation of irony wins! – Nick Stauner Apr 22 '14 at 22:47
  • Also found a similar question here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13396/… – Benubird Apr 23 '14 at 8:53

By accepting an answer, that does not essentially make it the correct answer. It is merely the answer which helps you the most.

A checkmark next to an answer does indicate overall that it was proper, but there are times when accepted answers are not correct (although rare) and that is still up to the community to decide on their own.

While accepting an answer sends a message, so does not accepting one. It basically leaves the door open, so if you are uncertain or feel like you did not get an answer to your question, then there is nothing wrong with not accepting any of them.

Over time, votes from the community will fill the gap between which answer is most correct.

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While it is encouraged to accept an answer, you are not obliged to.

The community can give you an indication of which answer is best, but total up votes is not necessarily an indication of correctness (it's more an indication of popularity - I've seen wrong answers receive up votes before being challenged).

Unless you get that indication, do nothing until you are in a position to know which answer is both correct and best (as there could be several correct).

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