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I tried to post this:

$$\sqrt{\left(\frac{\partial g}{\partial x_i}e_{x_1}\right)^2+\dotso+\left(\frac{\partial g}{\partial x}_ie_{x_n}\right)^2}=\frac gn\sqrt{\left(\frac{e_{x_1}}{x_1}\right)^2+\dotso+\left(\frac{e_{x_n}}{x_n}\right)^2}\;.$$

in a comment. It renders correctly in a main post:

$$\sqrt{\left(\frac{\partial g}{\partial x_i}e_{x_1}\right)^2+\dotso+\left(\frac{\partial g}{\partial x}_ie_{x_n}\right)^2}=\frac gn\sqrt{\left(\frac{e_{x_1}}{x_1}\right)^2+\dotso+\left(\frac{e_{x_n}}{x_n}\right)^2}\;.$$

but is rendered as raw command sequences in a comment; see the first comment below.

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  • $\begingroup$ $$\sqrt{\left(\frac{\partial g}{\partial x_i}e_{x_1}\right)^2 +\dotso+ \left(\frac{\partial g}{\partial x}_ie_{x_n}\right)^2} = \frac gn\sqrt{\left(\frac{e_{x_1}}{x_1}\right)^2 +\dotso+ \left(\frac{e_{x_n}}{x_n}\right)^2}\;.$$ $\endgroup$ – joriki Apr 3 '13 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ I added some whitespace here and there, and it has cleared up the problem. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Apr 3 '13 at 15:38
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I believe this is the same issue as described in this meta thread; namely, a string of more than 79 characters containing no whitespace will have some special unicode symbol added automatically, and the formula will usually break (though it can depend on where the added symbol ends up).

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    $\begingroup$ This is the first time I was prevented from accepting an answer because it was too early :-) Thanks, I should have found that duplicate before posting. $\endgroup$ – joriki Apr 3 '13 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ It also should have reminded me of this question I posted myself :-) $\endgroup$ – joriki Apr 3 '13 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Glad I could help :) There have been a few other recent instances of people noticing this problem. Maybe something can be done to fix it; but I honestly don't have the slightest clue what adding this symbol does, presumably it's useful for something. $\endgroup$ – Zev Chonoles Apr 3 '13 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ @ZevChonoles I assume it prevents the user-editable parts of the site from breaking the layout by posting unbreakables lines that don't fit inside the actual content area. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Apr 3 '13 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ @MadScientist: Huh, I was just assuming that some CSS could take care of that automatically, but I now see that the relevant CSS property word-wrap is in CSS3 and I suppose this solution is chosen to deal with browsers that don't support it. I think maybe I was conflating it in my mind with the overflow property. $\endgroup$ – Zev Chonoles Apr 3 '13 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ It would be possible for MSE to add a pre-filter to the MathJax TeX input processor that would remove those characters before processing the math. That would resolve the problem, and would not be difficult. I would be happy to help. $\endgroup$ – Davide Cervone Apr 4 '13 at 12:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Davide: Cool. I'd also be happy (though perhaps less qualified) to help. How do we get this thing going? $\endgroup$ – joriki Apr 4 '13 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ @joriki: I don't know what the right place to make the suggestion. I think I have some old contacts that I will check to see if any are still current. The change is pretty straight-forward, it is just a matter of getting it into the official code. $\endgroup$ – Davide Cervone Apr 4 '13 at 15:40

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