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Say, a question that is not a perfect fit for the site was posted - mostly some consider it to have some merit, some do not.

What if said question generates some very useful answers (not just upvoted, but generate comments that indicate the usefulness). Will the question (hence, useful answers) still be deleted eventually (if not improved)?

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Comparing a bad question with no answers (or bad answers), and a bad question with good answers, my view is that in the case of the good answers, it gives us (the community) more motivation to actually edit the question into a better shape, even if the OP doesn't do it.

After all, if a question gets a good answer, it means that there is a diamond somewhere in the rough of that question (maybe not always a diamond, but at least a decent enough gemstone).

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  • topaz? sapphire? citrine? – user7130 Sep 13 '13 at 13:23
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    @UV-D or chrysoprase, clinohumite, kornerupine, dumortierite… (“look honey, you said you wanted a jewel, I've got you a dumortierite necklace”) – F'x Sep 13 '13 at 13:38
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Ignoring duplicate questions, I believe the SE philosophy was that there are two fates for closed questions (editing and deletion). I think the On Hold terminology was designed to highlight that the "closed" state is temporary. A question needs to be closed before it can be deleted. Closed questions that have a negative vote total are deleted by the community user (Duplicate question deleted by Community). A number of us look at closed questions regularly and either edit or vote to delete (e.g., Which of these posts should be deleted?).

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    So, an option would be to reword the useful answer(s) perhaps as a self answered question? – user7130 Sep 13 '13 at 11:52
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    This is the most correct answer, I believe. Think of it this way: if this site contained nothing other than great answers to off-topic and otherwise inappropriate questions, it wouldn't be very useful as an Academic knowledge repository, would it? If the question can be edited to be more relevant, please do so, but otherwise it's exactly what it is: a great answer to a wrong question. – eykanal Sep 13 '13 at 16:32
  • @eykanal thank you for that, just clarifying. – user7130 Sep 13 '13 at 21:57

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