I asked a question in MO and I received two interesting answers with different approaches. Both of them are very interesting. I wish to accept both of them simultaneously, but it is impossible. Morally, I cannot choose one of them as a better answer.

Is it reasonable to suggest to MO to remove this restriction?

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    $\begingroup$ Flippant answer: because only one of the answers can be listed first! $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ (1) It might not be difficult for me to find out, but perhaps you could link to the question, to save people from making a guess. (2) You could see what the community thinks and then choose one accordingly (either the "underdog" or "overdog", depending on how you feel about such matters). You could also leave a note under the unaccepted answer that you found it very hard to choose between X and Y; they were both virtually equally great answers. Almost certainly the "loser" would take it in stride. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 22:03
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    $\begingroup$ Meanwhile, you might want to accept an answer to this question. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ youtube.com/watch?v=qLVXon0r64Y ALSO youtube.com/watch?v=1Aej9wmoQ7M $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ youtube.com/watch?v=4QV6FpYfbn0 $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 4:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Gerry, wow, i would never have been able to come up with that one. For instance, I had no idea The Lovin' Spoonful did that song. $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 4:49

2 Answers 2


This suggestion, while reasonable to make it, has very little hope of getting implemented.

The answer "in theory:"

The idea of having only one accepted answer is (to encourage) that one answer is created that is comprehensive. So, following the design-philosophy somebody, possibly you, should now go ahead and create one answer (possibly in CW-mode) containing both approaches that then would be accepted.

The answer "in practice:"

At least on MO the above idea is not really followed often, and some might even consider it strange if it were done as described above. What I would suggest you do is you decide in whatever way (perhaps even via tossing a coin) which of the two you accept, and comment on the other one saying that you consider it as equally good but you can only accept one. (Some also do not accept an answer at all in such a case, and possibly comment why they did not.)

Also note that just to express that you found an answer useful you upvote it (which you can do for as many answers as you like). If you could accept multiple answers the "accept" would effectively become a second vote only, and the usefulness of having this is unclear.

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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl it seems my fingers where consistently out of sync...thanks for fixing it. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Feb 16, 2014 at 12:05

Is it reasonable to suggest to MO to remove this restriction?

No, I think the current behavior makes perfect sense, and is not really a restriction. An advantage of the current behavior is that it encourages me to ask only one main question at a time.

The simplest way to acknowledge additional good answers is by leaving a comment. If I want to honor an additional good answer even more explicit, I can award a bounty to it. (I guess my real reasons to award such bounties was more my frustration with fruitlessly expired bounties on unanswered questions.)

Asking more than one question at a time can be tempting, because describing the background and general setting of a series of questions often takes more time and space than the questions themselves. I tend to ask multiple questions at once for questions about whether a certain construction works in different contexts. I normally only get answers for the contexts in which the construction works. Often I then spend a significant amount of time to construct counterexamples for the remaining contexts, which I then add as an additional answer. Maybe I would also get these "missing" answers, if I asked separate questions for the different contexts.


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