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Just out of curiosity - it seems that keeping around questions which are closed as duplicate makes sorting through older questions more cumbersome. Any reason they are kept around?

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Sometimes people ask the same question in very different ways. Duplicates act as signposts. Often when I'm searching a site for a question, the top result isn't the question itself but a duplicate -- because I and that asker happened to use the same language. So the duplicate leads me to the original, but I might not have found the original at all otherwise. (For example, I found this via a duplicate, not the original.)

Duplicates that aren't likely to serve that purpose -- ones that are cryptic, for example -- can be nominated for deletion. But in general, it's better to err on the side of keeping them in my experience.

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