Of course, for complicated formulae TeX syntax is unavoidable. I have in mind some simpler situations such as
- 2.3=6, 2*3=6 or 2x3=6 vs. $2.3=6$, $2\cdot 3 = 6$ or $2\times 3=6$
- for any choice of a and b vs. for any choice of $a$ and $b$
Of course the Mathjax output looks better, but I found both of them readable. Perhaps some users with slow Internet connection can experience problems with too many formulae in the text. (I have only experienced problems when editing some posts that were long enough, but switching of the preview is a simple solution to this. Occasionally IE9 is unable to display some answers, but Firefox works fine.)
Is it advised to use Mathjax even for alone-standing variables (as opposed to italics)? Is it advised to use Mathjax for simple computations, like addition or multiplication a few numbers? (Probably you can think of more similar situations.)
Do we have official policy/general advice on this?
At wikipedia, it seems that for simple formulae they avoid latex markup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(mathematics)#Very_simple_formulae
I have tried to search for similar questions, my apologies, if I missed something.