I wanted to test some $\LaTeX$ in the title for myself, and I didn't know any other way to do so.

Why does the transverse magnetization in Fourier Transform NMR consist of Ix+iIy ($\hat{I}_x+i\hat{I}_y$) -> http://meta.chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/2774/why-does-the-transverse-magnetization-in-fourier-transform-nmr-consist-of-ixiiy

Why does the transverse magnetization NMR consist of Ix+iIy ($\hat{I}_x+i\hat{I}_y$) -> http://meta.chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/2774/why-does-the-transverse-magnetization-nmr-consist-of-ixiiy-hati-xi-hati

enter image description here

Why does NMR Ix+iIy ($\hat{I}_x+i\hat{I}_y$) -> http://meta.chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/2774/why-does-nmr-ixiiy-hati-xi-hati-y

Can someone explain to me why we can't just add Latex in titles as well as plain text? It might not be always a useful idea, but I don't see the problem of tacking the $\LaTeX$ on the end. To me an issue only arises when entirely replacing the plain text for $\LaTeX$ in the middle of the question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, the URL is a funny bit! hati.... BTW, I think that hati-xi-hati won't let anyone search the real formula. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ The idea is that if the formula is also written in plain text, then if someone were to search for it, it could be found. I also wanted to check how this would look like as a search engine hit, but it seems the meta site is not crawled by search engines. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ I see the point you are making and it might work. I'm not an expert on the workings of search engines though so I don't know how they will process this. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ Well it seems Google actually does crawl through meta, so I can continue my tests here. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


I personally prefer plain text titles only. For me this is a much more elaborate way of asking.

Taking your example: Why does the transverse magnetization in Fourier Transform NMR consist of Ix+iIy ($\hat{I}_{\!x}+\mathrm{i}\hat{I}_{\!y}$)?

I have no idea what $\hat{I}$ is. Even after reading the whole question I have no idea what it stands for. Currently I have the time to at least read most of the questions, that come up and even edit a couple of them, but there will come a time, where I only attend questions that I find interesting. Although I am generally interested in NMR and the theory behind it, I would not have bothered to read this question.

In my opinion it is a question of style. At least, that is what I care most about in this issue. I can live with these kind of questions as I have given up on being a perfectionist.[*]

It looks ugly on google

Point in case:
screenshot google
This is of course only true if it is not cut off. See the lower title.

It does not render in most hot questions lists

I assume most of the people who would be able to understand the question browse on sites that have MathJax support, but most sites don't. So this looks ugly, and incomprehensible for most people. There has been a feature request on blocking those questions.

The slug, the slug, THE SLUG?!

I have no idea how google and similar search engines work. So I probably don't care much about it. For sharing the question, It is not even necessary to include this part in the link, i.e.
will link to the same page as
and whatever else.

Further discussions

[*] If I apply my knowledge about notation, I also believe the question in place is typeset wrong. If it is an operator then it must not be in italics, hence $\hat{\mathrm{I}}$ would be the correct way of type setting it: $\hat{\mathrm{I}}$. The slug therefore would become ...hatmathrmi-xi-hatmathrmi-y... and is especially unreadable.

Addendum/ Postscriptum

  • I also prefer not using unicode characters. I would always say water instead of writing H2O or H₂O.
  • I also prefer carbon monoxide over CO.
  • I especially prefer Gibbs energy over $\Delta G$
  • This applies to journal titles, too. For example, very bad title: Remarkable Reactions of Cationic Carbyne Complexes of Manganese and Rhenium with Diiron Anions [Fe2(μ-CO)(μ-SeR)(CO)6]-. A Route to RSe-Bridged Dimetal Bridging Carbene Complexes, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/om001035a, and the abstract, OMG the abstract.
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't expect a response to this thread, especially not one as thorough as this! But thank you kindly for your contribution. You've convinced me, I think titles should be best left as plain text. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 13:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Nicolau Thank you. This is an ever returning and interesting question and I thought about this a lot before. I kind of wrote this also to finally convince myself of my own opinion ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ Very much agree with this, plaintext titles are better and it should stay that way :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ What do you think about Unicode titles? (CC: @ManishEarth) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 14:42
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    $\begingroup$ @PrittBalagopal As I said, I don't like them. I prefer plain text with descriptive words. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 15:25

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