# Question about typing and strange characters

Ok I am almost a month old user here, so basically I am completely new to using mathematical symbols and characters in this site. I always type my question completely and keep editing constantly so that nothing makes difficult for the reader and no strange character appears from copying and pasting. And, if I still make mistakes, then please correct me in the polite way. But, my question is instead of pointing out my mistakes, why do some people assume I am using something different and giving me down vote for that? Again, I am not a pro and people learn from as they go. So, Do you just give down votes for question that has some typing errors?

• I assume you're talking about this post. It is indeed full of strange characters (before it was revised) - I don't know what technical issue is causing that - however, it does seem unreasonable to me to downvote in this case; the question seems fine, and the extraneous characters aren't obscuring what you're saying. Given the trivial nature of the error in the post, I don't see why three users left comments to this effect instead of just editing your post to remove the strangeness. – Milo Brandt Feb 27 '15 at 3:08
• (I didn't downvote the post.) Right now the post is still filled with "strange characters" for me. For example, after "here it goes: h" there are two strange characters. @Meelo, I can't edit it because I don't know what the strange characters mean. Perhaps that's why the others didn't edit it also. – Joel Reyes Noche Feb 27 '15 at 3:30
• This is what it looks like to me, right now. – Joel Reyes Noche Feb 27 '15 at 3:31
• @JoelReyesNoche Ah! That's wholly different from how it looks to me. For me, it displays as if those characters simply didn't exist (and the earlier revisions just have a couple, different boxes which are clearly extraneous). That would explain why others didn't edit. – Milo Brandt Feb 27 '15 at 3:35
• From your comment I take it that the strange characters can just be removed. I've edited the question now to remove them. – Joel Reyes Noche Feb 27 '15 at 3:40
• @Joel Reyes Noche thank you so much for editing my question. I have no idea where those strange characters came from? I guess there were some technical issues even though I didn't see them on my computer. – Jellyfish Feb 27 '15 at 4:10
• Most likely, you are using unicode characters that are not available on most other computers. If you're using greek letters (or similar), replace them with their TeX counterpart (e.g. \alpha). – apnorton Feb 27 '15 at 4:47
• The odd characters (U+10FC03 - U+10FC07) are in the unicode "Supplementary Private Use B" range. They are available for private use, but have no inter-application definition as printable characters. – robjohn Feb 27 '15 at 8:49
• Do you know how these characters get there in the first place? Or absent this could you perhaps tell how you compose your posts? Especially from where do you copy-paste. So, that a solution could be propose to prevent this. Perhaps just do not copy-paste or do so via a "clean" intermediate step like a simple text-editor. – quid Feb 27 '15 at 13:28
• That's the strange part. I was just typing as usual don't know how/where those characters came from. Weird huh! – Jellyfish Feb 27 '15 at 15:22
• @robjohn I don't even know what those "Supplementary Private Use B" characters mean. And, the funny thing is while you guys were seeing some funny looking characters, I was seeing nothing strange, which is why I couldn't tell what to remove or edit. – Jellyfish Feb 27 '15 at 15:25
• In view of the comment thread, I'd say an edit of the main post to change the scope is due; after all, nonuniformity in displaying the question is the root problem here. – Lord_Farin Feb 27 '15 at 15:46
• But, the thing is how'd you edit something if you don't exactly see what to edit for? – Jellyfish Feb 27 '15 at 15:48
• @BrianM.Scott: It is a matter of the fonts installed in a user's computer. If a font is installed that claims to know that glyph, the computer will render it. Otherwise, a substitute is used; often a glyph with the unicode glyph code displayed. – robjohn Mar 3 '15 at 0:42
• @BrianM.Scott: to me, this indicates that either they had a font with that character defined as non-printable, or the substitute glyph on their system is non-printable. – robjohn Mar 3 '15 at 0:48