Sometimes I get to review edits to really funny questions which it usually is clear (to me) what is meant in the question but mis-spelled or phrased in funny ways. Is there some policy as how important it is to be strict in formulating questions or is humour in questions encouraged?

I could see both ways here. Some hard working users get demotivated by silliness and unseriousness but some probably also get demotivated by too strict or dry environments.

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    $\begingroup$ An example in meta $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Mar 18, 2016 at 9:54
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    $\begingroup$ One problem is what is "really funny"? I for one do not find the example given by @JohnMa funny at all. (I did read things from Will Jagy that I did find quite funny, but not this.) $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Mar 18, 2016 at 11:21
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    $\begingroup$ quid makes a valid point; may I also add that if somebody gets demotivated by seriousness in Mathematics they're probably in the wrong subject. $\endgroup$ Mar 18, 2016 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ I did not mean demotivated about the subject per se but demotivated from contributing to the site if they find the atmosphere too boring, unpleasant or strict. $\endgroup$ Mar 18, 2016 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ Well the site "should" be an approximation to the subject, no? $\endgroup$ Mar 18, 2016 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ A site for encouraging people to exchange ideas about a subject. If people are in practice (by accident or otherwise) discouraged from exchanging ideas then it does not accomplish that goal very well. $\endgroup$ Mar 18, 2016 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with mathreadler. Online forums in math/science/tech are already notorious, for example, for being extremely unwelcoming to women. (And I know of no evidence that math.stackexchange is any different, and indeed know of specific women who will no longer post here.) When half the population finds a community unwelcoming, it's the community's fault, not the fault of that popoulation's "motivation". $\endgroup$ Mar 19, 2016 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ @GregMartin, for what it's worth, I know many guys who find this site unwelcoming, too. Perhaps what's really going on is that this site is unwelcoming in general, and perhaps it is the case that when women find a site that is male-dominated and unwelcoming, they're likely to conclude that this is due to gender, whereas when men find a site that is male-dominated and unwelcoming, they're more likely to conclude that its just a crappy site and a crappy community. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2016 at 0:18
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    $\begingroup$ (Continued.) Of course, its probably also the case that MSE harbors a few actual misogynists, which, if true, would make the experience even worse for women. I suppose the community has already discussed this problem. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2016 at 0:21
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    $\begingroup$ Rephrasing your comment: if someone concludes that this site is unwelcoming in a gender-related way, then they must be a woman and their conclusion is wrong. Thank you for demonstrating my point. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2016 at 3:27
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    $\begingroup$ Your point being that massive amount of learning is done to young girls that they are oppressed and should learn to view themselves as victims almost no matter what happens in life? Or what else would your point be? $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2016 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ @goblin How is "male-dominated" (sufficiently immediately) observable in the first place? A username like GregMartin may suggest a real-life male behind it, likewise mathreader has a profile image that may suggest a female user - though the image is apparently not his/hers. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2016 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @GregMartin, sorry, I only just saw your replies now. But I'm not sure I follow; what point of yours did I demonstrate? All I was really trying to say is that its entirely possible that people who belong to groups who are often treated unfairly will sometimes perceive poor treatment as being caused by their membership in said groups, and often they will be right, but sometimes they will be partly wrong. And this is probably happens doubly as frequently in cyber communities, where body language and other non-verbal cues aren't available. By the way, I agree completely with the comment that... $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2016 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ @mathreadler: Please don't be naive. Oppression is not imaginary. Disparaging victims of oppression for knowing that oppression happens to them (as you did above) is part of the problem. If you don't want women to be victims of sexism, then fight against sexism. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2016 at 5:39
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    $\begingroup$ @goblin: You have described a proposed bias, on the part of women, to (sometimes) see sexism where it might not exist. Have you contemplated another bias, on the part of men, to (by default) fail to perceive sexism where it might in fact exist? Which bias do you think is more prevalent in general? in STEM forums? $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2016 at 5:40


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