For example, the original revision of the question Is there an idiomatic way to say "go to the path of no way out"? only asked for "the only way to get out is to go backward". After receiving some answers, I realized that I should emphasize that it's not just going backward, but also have to destroy what have been done. And after a day I continue to realize that I want to emphasize that not only one have to destroy it, but worse that they don't know that it is the only way, so basically without outside help they will keep going. I realize that adding this bit will basically disqualify all of the current answers.

So ironic. What should I do? Does this change the question enough to ask a new one? But should two similar questions be asked? In my point of view it is just a small addition from the original question. Or should I make my own answer and explain why I choose this?

1 Answer 1


Why not leave the original question in its original form, and then post a follow-on question that asks for something more specific?

Of course, the new question should mention (and link to) the original question, but include sufficient information that everyone understands why it's different.

This way, none of the answers to the original question are invalidated, and you still get an answer to your fundamental question.

By the way, this seems like a good time to reemphasize that everyone who posts questions should include as many details as possible, to prevent others from investing their time and energy in answering a learner's question, only for everyone to find out that the crux of the question is not even being answered. (I'm not saying this could have been avoided in your case, but it's still worth mentioning again.)

  • Because I wonder that making multi follow-up questions seems like spamming, or at least showing that the OP doesn't carefully think about their question. But this is likely unavoidable for the OP too
    – Ooker
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 1:50
  • 6
    @Ooker Asking follow-up questions is okay. I agree that it's good for askers to think carefully about their questions before posting, but that can be a bit of a catch-22: Sometimes you need to understand the answer in order to ask the right question in the first place! And in that case a follow-up question is only natural.
    – user230
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 4:39

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