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As a more recent user of the "language learning" site and a more common user of the "tex" related site, I couldn't help but notice that many of the questions on the LL Stack Exchange are answered, sometimes by multiple users (I've seen up to 4 answers.) But none of them are accepted.

I understand and appreciate that the answers to questions on LL are less of "here is an objectively working solution to your problem" but more of an "here is my take on your question", but to me it feels like an question without an accepted answer is still an open question. (Which to me seems a bit frustrating.)

I get that language learning is not a technical topic, but rather a personal one, but the approach "let's not accept answers and hope one that suits me better comes along" is a bit counter-intuitive in a site that is based on a very rigorous question-answer-points for everything-kind of concept.

So: Why to many people decide to not accept any answer? How could this change? Is it even desirably to change it?

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Accepting an answer is not required. There can be a variety of reasons why a question has no accepted answer:

  • Some people, especially new users, seem to lose interest in the site if they don't get an answer within 24 hours.
  • Some people don't find the available answer or answers good enough.
  • Some people don't accept answers that don't confirm their expectations (regardless of quality).
  • Some people don't accept an answer because the answerer once made a comment they didn't like.
  • Some people ignore new answers after one or two have already been submitted, even if the newer answer is better than the older ones.
  • Some people have become inactive, so they don't see the new answers that have been submitted to their question(s).
  • Etc, etc.

Not accepting an answer does not constitute a misuse of the site, since the decision to accept an answer is entirely optional.

(What also happens is that people accept a plausible but low-quality answer and don't change their acceptance vote after a better answer is submitted. For this reason, accepted answers are not necessarily the best ones.)

These are my impressions based on hundreds of answers that I have written across the Stack Exchange network.

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