96

No you are not required to follow up in comments. At the same time I feel it is not unexpected and rather normal that an asker tries to engage somebody that answered in case something is open. I feel it is strange to get upset about this, doubly so given the sketchy nature of your answer. If you do not want to further engage, say so clearly and neutrally ...


93

Provide Context Context matters. A question can sometimes be answered in one sentence when the discussion is between two experts familiar with each other's background, while the same question may take many paragraphs of detailed computation when being shown to an undergraduate student. By providing a context you help the potential responders to your ...


73

Nope. Nobody has the right to usurp your time. In fact, it is rude of someone to expect that you drop everything to answer every single follow-up question they may possibly have. You are here for your enjoyment, not out of a debt to anyone.


72

No, it's not OK to post 72 questions, get useful answers, and not accept any of them. I would hope some moderator would take this user aside and explain a few things about how this site works best.


69

The comment you sketch is fine. This is not what is meant. What is meant is that one should not post "Thanks!!!!!!!!!!", "This is so interesting.", "Best answer ever!" on every other good post one comes across. Imagine a post with score 14 where every user that up-voted the post also commented "Thanks; nice answer." It would be a bit messy. Note that ...


63

I am in favor of letting people express themselves with smileys. :-)


56

A joke here and there is alright; if somebody minds they can flag as "too chatty" or "not constructive". One should not overdo this though. It is also important to keep in mind that humor and irony often do not go over well in written and over language and possibly cultural difference. Moreover, when you notices somebody does not like your remarks leave ...


56

Having been on the Internet a while now, I know that no matter how genuinely confused I am, and no matter how politely I try to phrase my question, there can still be someone who thinks I am just trying to be a jerk. Wikipedia has a policy, not observed as universally as it should be, that one should assume that others are acting in good faith. I think ...


55

Strictly speaking, to provide an answer to a question with bad formatting / lack of context does not break any rule. If you suggested such user to improve his/her question you did the right thing. The same applies to the downvote / closing vote, if you thought that was the right course of action. But. We all like MSE to be populated by good questions and ...


52

I would significantly prefer A question by a fluent speaker of a language that I don't know, translated into perfect English by someone who knows both languages, so that I can understand the translation immediately compared to A question in broken English, which I cannot understand, by someone who is only a fluent speaker of another language. I agree ...


52

I just spent quite a bit of time reading through all the comments in this thread and Willie's. A lot of them jump back and forth between various issues, and they have a very controversial feel to them, but it seems to me that on the important issues there's a rather broad consensus, and I want to try to distill that here. Asking questions with the intention ...


50

A good title The title of a question is the first thing people see. Like headings in newspapers, book, song and album titles, their importance is not to be underestimated -- the presence of a good, descriptive title for your question often greatly improves the exposure (and hence the amount and quality of answers) it gets. To ensure maximal descriptiveness ...


49

Cheer up! You're not the target of a rude joke in chat. Or, you're not the only target of a joke in chat. The trick lies in the source of the original comment: Just stopping by to say [this user](https://math.stackexchange.com/users/current) is awesome. Great to have folks like this around. Note that it links to https://math.stackexchange.com/users/...


49

Please do not post joke answers in response to joke questions. My reasoning has three parts (the first two are SE specific and are linked, while the other is common internet protocol): Joke Questions are not on-topic for the site. Joke questions do not add anything to the site. Thus, they should be deleted: What are the criteria for deletion? For ...


45

Just a few comments on this. Asking questions about mathematics is precisely the purpose of this site. It does not matter whether the questions come from the book you are studying or from elsewhere. What does matter is that you put an effort into your question and that you do not ask too many questions at once. I definitely prefer when the OP mentions the ...


43

You should post a new question, providing a link to the old question (but making the new question stand alone as well). You could also post a link to the new question as a comment to the old one. In general, one should take care that any edits to answered questions do not change the scope or meaning of the question - both to preserve the answers' value and ...


41

Gerry Myerson's reply is factually correct, and I do not want to dispute it, only add to it: The goal of the site is to have a repository of clear, complete, and correct answers. Those answers will last a long time and readers will continue to extract value from them far into the future. If some people are annoyed in the process of developing the archive, ...


39

I've wondered about this too. If it is a very simple answer that didn't take me too much time, I'll just delete it. But if I've invested a lot of time in my answer, and another answer just happens to beat mine by a short period of time, I'll post mine too and let the cards fall where they may. Incidentally, this topic is an interesting reflection of the ...


36

Mathematical typesetting using MathJax Mathematics.SE uses the emulation engine MathJax for providing $\TeX$-like mathematical typesetting. This means that you can use mathematical notation in your questions in a visually appealing way. How can I use MathJax? Basic information: This gives a quick start for people familiar with the $\TeX$-family of markup ...


36

Personally, I don't like emoticons or emojis at all. Nevertheless, the policy I'd suggest is to only remove them (if you feel like it) if you are otherwise editing the post. Specifically, I would not recommend editing a post just to remove emojis/emoticons. This seems in line with the "policy" for "thank yous". As far as I can tell, removing emojis/...


35

My opinion is that this kind of dramatic spectacle, especially when it has a personal nature as here, is harmful to the site. This goes both for this meta question as well as the rude comments on the questions in question. I would urge that we concentrate on mathematics. Answer the questions if you find them interesting, and ignore them if you don't. Who ...


34

I think this issue cuts both ways. I do not want to address this specific situation, but rather a generalization of it. I think we should all strive to keep our communication as gentle and professional as possible. That does not mean there is no place for lighthearted remarks or attempts at humor, but we have to be cognizant of the medium of communication ...


34

Avoid "no clue" questions Too many questions begin or end with "I don't even know how to begin with this problem". While this may be true (you may genuinely have no idea how to approach the problem), it is still not a valid reason to limit your post to the statement of the problem without any mention of your own thoughts. Such questions will most of the ...


34

What do people think about this answer format? The statement, as it is written here, is [generally] false. [Here is a counterexample.] [Here is a more accurate statement.] Since I wasn't at the lecture, it's hard for me to know if this is what your professor actually said or if there was some mistake in your [notes/understanding/transcription/memory]. ...


34

Let me begin by saying that I'm not disagreeing with quid. Generally, comments with "Thanks!!!!!" are entirely useless. The "guideline" that you cite, is a network-wide guideline, and the MSE culture is a bit different. At least for now. However, if you asked a question, and someone answered it, it is completely reasonable to post a thank you comment. Even ...


33

Tagging Tags are a way to help us organize posts on this website. People also use them to locate the questions they will find the most interesting. Thus, good tagging helps to attract the best potential answerers to your question. How do you select the best tags for your question Tags are about content. Tags (except "meta" tags, see below) are supposed to ...


33

Sometimes I think a question is sort of crappy but feel like writing about the topic, so I write a quick answer, don't upvote, and move on to the next one. I guess I just like hearing the sound of my own voice. I see where you're coming from, but I think calling it "morally mandatory" might be taking Math StackExchange votes a little too seriously.


31

In the specific case you describe I second what J.M. said. In my opinion the most apt course of action is to state that you do not wish to elaborate. This has several advantages: OP knows there is no point in waiting for you to reply. Others will know that you decided actively not to elaborate further and this might very well inform what they do. It is ...


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