I was a little bemused to see that my answer to this question was followed by another answer, which largely says the same thing, but got 25 upvotes to my 8. (Neither was accepted as the answer by the question poser BTW).

I realise 8 upvotes for an answer is better than a lot of answers get, but I'm just curious to see what people think about the reasons the other answer was so preferred, if only to learn how to improve my effectiveness on this site.

Apologies if the tag is inappropriate, wasn't sure about it.


2 Answers 2



Everything is better with bold font. (And a line skip to make the actual yes/no answer clearer.)

The question as (and still is) on the list of Hot Network Questions. Due to this, the majority of votes were probably cast by casual passers-by, not by regular Math.SE users (as a corollary, most voters will not read your post here). They liked the formatting and the crisp wording of your competitor. Yes, your answer says the same thing, but it lacks... character, or something.

how to improve my effectiveness on this site.

You won't learn much about this, since the votes on that question have little to do with this site.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "The Bold and the Italicized", a new daytime soap. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 6:33
  • $\begingroup$ (Apologies for my edit, but I did think the obvious "yes" helped more than the bold and italics. And I couldn't resist it.) $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 10:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So I just need a little more snap and pizzazz? Anyway you've explained why all the answers were getting good votes, which really explains it all. I guess I can sleep easy tonight. $\endgroup$
    – Neil W
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 11:12

This presages a larger problem: $$\begin{array}{l}\text{Turning and turning in the widening gyre}\cr \text{The falcon cannot hear the falconer;}\cr \text{Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;}\cr \text{Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,}\cr \text{The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere}\cr \text{The ceremony of innocence is drowned;}\cr \text{The best lack all conviction, while the worst}\cr \text{Are full of passionate intensity.}\end{array}$$


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