After I read some questions and answers about common courtesy rules in math and in particular on this side, it appeared to me that maybe the best courtesy advice here would be "Keep math in the foreground and yourself in the background". This seems reasonable to me, but my question is to what extend? Clearly, if we could loose our personality at the door when entering a seminar room and just try to think about math, this would be good for various reasons: it would increase the effectiveness and decrease the possibility of being rude/discriminating whatsover. BUT: we are still humans. I read in a post here that there is kind of a question whether to make a "thank you" note after a question or not. And, to be honest, I don't really care about the answer, because is this question really what mathematics should be about?

So my question: How much of my own personality can I inject into my mathmatics?

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    $\begingroup$ Is this really a question about the website, or is this a question about the culture of mathematics in general? The latter is really off-topic on the meta site. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 24 at 23:59
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I think both is related, but actually I do mean also this site. Like, how much of a personal style can a contributor on this side develop, so to speak. $\endgroup$ – Thanks. Mar 25 at 0:02
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    $\begingroup$ Usually most people have a particular style of writing (common words or phrases, presentation of content into paragraphs) which they have developed over time. Barring PSQs I think every post would have some amount of personal element. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Mar 25 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ I also think that mature mathematical writing in general needs to use various language features and not just the math symbols and their manipulation to make the content an enjoyable read. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Mar 25 at 2:47
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    $\begingroup$ @ParamanandSingh "... to make the content an enjoyable read." Exactly this. If people left their personalities at the seminar door then the seminar would be incomprehensibly boring. Good mathematical communication, whether in person or in writing, is injected with the speaker's/author's personality so as to be engaging. $\endgroup$ – user1729 Mar 25 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ @user1729 Answer deleted, I think I misunderstood OP. OP seems to mainly focus on clashes occuring because of people's personalities, from their first paragraph and the answer below, which says nothing but : "do anything you want as long as you aren't troubling anybody". $\endgroup$ – Teresa Lisbon Mar 25 at 8:32
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    $\begingroup$ Being able to recognize fear in one's students, being kind and welcoming, ensuring one doesn't speak monotonically, like a robot, eye contact with students, all enhance a teachers in their effectiveness in teaching serious math. There are ways to do the same, show empathy with others, find ways to connect with them, and not alienate them, on line, which are crucial to know, if one is going to be effective. There are mathematicians that fail miserably in the capacity to engage students. Math alone can not teach them how to be engaging. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Mar 25 at 14:59
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    $\begingroup$ Sometimes "being correct" isn't as effective as "being engaging and being correct." It does matter, because on this site we hope to champion both engagement with askers, and correctness. And this is where having an engaging personal style that askers can relate to and feel engaged with, and being correct, trumps computer generated correct answers. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Mar 25 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ Copy and Paste "The derivative of f(x) = x+4 is 1" into the left field, then click on "Speak" Here. Let me know if that's ideal to you, if you asked the question. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Mar 25 at 20:03

I don't want to make sweeping declarations. Some people's personalities are toxic, they are unable to control themselves, and that brought them to be suspended from the site (or even the entire network).

This is not something that should be codified either, because every person is different.

As long as you're not running into arguments, insulting or belittling others, or consistently having a signal-to-noise ratio of contribution which is higher on the noise, you're doing fine.

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    $\begingroup$ On swapping, I have begun a text file for interesting phrases. A friend, on the telephone a few weeks ago, came out with "veritable trout" with no real idea why he thought of it. In case it was not on purpose, usually one would say sweeping rather than swapping. $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Mar 25 at 1:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Will Jagy, the other day I wrote "You're just singing to the choir", which came to me quite naturally, though most remember, and I am familiar with "You're preaching to the choir". ;D $\endgroup$ – amWhy Mar 25 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ Wow. It's amazing how fried my brain was when I wrote this answer. It took me until now to understand what @Will was referring to when he wrote "On swapping"... $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 25 at 13:53

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