100 votes

squeezing for further information once an answer is given

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 ...
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  • 40.8k
76 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to never accept any answer?

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.
user avatar
73 votes

Is it rude not to reply?

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 ...
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  • 134k
70 votes
Accepted

Why do we need to avoid to thank somebody?

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 ...
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  • 40.8k
69 votes
Accepted

Engage with people from the fringes - or not?

Allow me to weigh in, in part as a long time contributor, in part as a set theorist who gets exposed to these type of questions perhaps more than the average mathematician, and in part as a moderator. ...
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  • 370k
67 votes

How to ask a good question.

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 ...
66 votes

Policy on smileys?

I am in favor of letting people express themselves with smileys. :-)
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  • 19.6k
56 votes

Is "playing dumb" considered un-helpful?

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 ...
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  • 62.1k
55 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to leave stupid comments?

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 ...
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  • 40.8k
54 votes
Accepted

Is it acceptable to answer a poor quality question?

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 ...
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52 votes
Accepted

What's the reputation of MathSE among students and more casual users?

Here are some of my experiences talking about math.se in the real world. I knew a well-meaning but struggling sophomore math major who felt too afraid to post a question here. She used the site ...
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  • 26.9k
49 votes
Accepted

Joke answer to a joke question?

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 ...
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  • 17.2k
48 votes
Accepted

I think I'm the target of a rude joke in chat

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: ...
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  • 49.8k
46 votes

What's the reputation of MathSE among students and more casual users?

This is THE place. I call this place a "super computer". And it is. It is true that maybe it is a harsh place for newbies, but that is not 100% true. It is harsh only if you ask something ...
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43 votes
Accepted

Is it bad to edit your own answer several times?

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 ...
43 votes
Accepted

Can actual names with vulgar words be used on Mathematics SE?

Generally it is alright to use language that otherwise would seem vulgar or offensive if it is established/technical usage, for example Stack Overflow has an entire tag brainfuck, because somebody ...
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  • 40.8k
42 votes
Accepted

Questions with "accidental" trivial answers

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 ...
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  • 58.6k
38 votes

Don't review a first question by simply downvoting it or voting to close it

Originally intended to be a comment, but I find that it is more of an answer than a comment. I would suggest modifying the website to force newcomers to read the "Asking a good question" (...
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  • 1,385
36 votes
Accepted

Is it rude to tag someone in the comments of an old post and politely ask them to check out your new question related to another post?

"Rude" is maybe a strong word, but it is certainly discouraged. If you do it once, likely nothing much negative will happen. But as a rule please do not do this. An exception might be if the ...
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  • 40.8k
35 votes
Accepted

Responding to questions of the form "My professor said $X$, but $X$ is false!"

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 ...
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  • 12.4k
35 votes
Accepted

Policy on smileys?

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 ...
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33 votes

Why do we need to avoid to thank somebody?

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 ...
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  • 370k
30 votes
Accepted

How to handle insistent OPs?

Most importantly, decide for yourself how much more effort you want to put into directing these users. Such decisions can be made dynamically, factoring in both how engaged the OP appears to be, but ...
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  • 49.8k
30 votes
Accepted

Rude comments embedded in user profiles

You can try to flag a post by that user for moderator attention. At present (and likely far into the future) there is no way to flag a user profile. But be aware that users have quite free reign on ...
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  • 49.8k
30 votes

Is it rude not to reply?

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 ...
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  • 40.8k
29 votes
Accepted

Has the upvoting really gone down?

Is this really happening or is it just me who feels that? In relative terms, yes, this effect is real. However, it is not that users stopped voting. In absolute terms more votes are cast. The issue ...
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  • 40.8k
28 votes

What to do with my cross-posted question that got answered elsewhere?

I would recommend that you answer the question yourself, mostly because it would otherwise go on the Unanswered Questions queue for a silly reason. But also, answers from MathOverflow are not always ...
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  • 18.2k

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