# Asking questions with eye-catching highlight

Recently I asked a question which included all of the researched data and added with reference. In the clutter, I wished to point out my question so that it's easy to answer. But, it seemed that the point out was unwelcome.

I used $$\text{}$$ to point out my question.

So, in the heap of my data it looked like $$\text{Diamond in a coal mine}$$

But the diamond was edited to:
Diamond in a coal mine

And this doesn't even look like justice to a fair question, instead just another line of text.

Given that

1. A user is scrolling past the forum
2. accidentally clicks on my post
3. scrolls a bit further
4. Looks at $$\text{this}$$ instead of a repulsive bold.

It's easy to conclude that this format shouldn't be discouraged, counter/supportive-arguments appreciated.

1. Bold is repulsive for me and also that it is used to highlight some important parts of the data in the question.
2. The question which I would have referred here contains images, so if a browser can load images fast, it can load MathJax as well. Most of the sites which have MathJax enabled have almost all questions using it. So if this a reason for discouragement, the above is my dismissal to it.
3. MathJax is particularly engaging to a lot of people among which some people (like me) have used it on their profiles as well.
4. A different font attracts more attention than a recurring font which is used in the whole question.
• I think you need to explain why boldface is repulsive while adding loading time to every viewer of the question so the pointless MathJax loads is not. You also need to support the assertion that MathJax usage in a question makes any difference to how inclined people are to answer it. I haven't voted yet but this might explain the downvotes this meta post has already garnered. – M.A.R. Aug 13 '20 at 19:36
• @M.A.R. I have made amends. Also, am not particularly concerned with reputation with the downvotes (this question ofcourse can be removed). So what I interpret from the question's downvote is that MathJaX font is unattractive. In that case it needs to be seriously addressed to mother meta right? – user96208 Aug 13 '20 at 19:46
• It's not unattractive, the site font is IIRC very close or identical to the MathJax font. But it's something to solely use for mathematical formulas, and it doesn't need to abide by all the finer details of typography. God knows I used to abuse MathJax a lot but the reason it stands out is precisely because no one else uses it and that's important to consider. There's also the issue of introducing unnecessary load time for viewers of the question. – M.A.R. Aug 13 '20 at 19:52
• I think if you use correct English as much as you can and format it only as much as is necessary the post will have the professional look and appeal you want for the answerers. Beyond that, overformatting things comes off as false glamor and feels ugly in its own way. Use valid paragraphing, grammar, and keep the formatting to a scarce minimum, and the post will look as good as it will ever look, especially for more discerning eyes. – M.A.R. Aug 13 '20 at 19:55
• @M.A.R. Is it somewhere documented that it should be used solely for mathematical formatting? So if no one else uses it, one shouldn't, go with the trend? I have clearly indicated about the loadtime that I have done this only for a question which had images added and hence i am not convinced with the loadtime arguement. My basic question is, why a repulsion when I write something like this? – user96208 Aug 13 '20 at 19:57
• The above point by you (M.A.R.) looks like a valid arguement, I'll try that as well, but my last comment persists. – user96208 Aug 13 '20 at 19:59
• Again, if you use bold and italic only as much as you should, they're far superior options to MathJax, and you still haven't provided an argument for why they're "repulsive". I'm not going to get in an argument why we don't use MathJax to format text, but common sense dictates that using font that looks bigger and with different kerning and uneven letters compared to other content on the page does not look well. It'd be helpful if you link what edit you're specifically objecting to. 'not going with the trend' is a weak argument; people argue for consistency in text formatting. – M.A.R. Aug 13 '20 at 20:05
• @M.A.R. Link to edit chemistry.stackexchange.com/revisions/138825/5 , they seem repulsive to me, but i provided the other puposes bold maybe used. Probably my sense dictates differently here. – user96208 Aug 13 '20 at 20:14
• but common sense dictates that using font that looks bigger and with different kerning and uneven letters compared to other content on the page does not look well How about $\text{CHEMISTRY}_{Meta}$ – user96208 Aug 13 '20 at 21:00
• Are you comparing a logo design to site content? I see that you had already made up your mind before this discussion started, and adamant on not listening to opposing viewpoints by editing your title to contain MathJax, so I regret only the time wasted on posting all these comments. Have a nice one! – M.A.R. Aug 14 '20 at 13:11
• Among all of them I find only one to be constructive. Also, this has been addressed to on meta.SE – user96208 Aug 14 '20 at 13:19
• MathJax can be viewed as an attempt to bring LaTeX into the WWW realm. LaTeX was always intended as a writing aid where the author doesn't need to focus on formatting. It's just sad to see its syntax abused for the exact opposite. Using $\text{…}$ for the text paragraph makes no sense. It's wrong semantically, forces the browser to load extra JS library for no reason and there is nothing eye-catching about it. Using more than one font family within a couple of paragraphs is just a bad design choice. – andselisk Aug 14 '20 at 15:31
• TL;DR: MathJax is not intended for emphasis. Every textbook on good typography would suggest to use italics for emphasis, and bold for strong emphasis. There is no need to use colors, extra fonts or extra font weights. As simple as that. – andselisk Aug 14 '20 at 15:31
• There's soooo much irony here or I am unable to comprehend. – user96208 Aug 14 '20 at 15:47

Here's one of the reasons why you should never, ever do this. Try installing a screen reader (I used Pericles for this experiment) and check what happens when a visually impaired user wants to read this very question:

So, in the heap of my data it looked like
Diamond in a coal mine
Diamond in a coal mine text
Diamond in a coal mine

But the diamond was edited to:
Diamond in a coal mine

That single sentence you think is nicely formatted would be heard three times (with a random word 'text' in between). The world is already hard enough for these people, please don't make it any harder. You don't even need to do something special for that, just use regular formatting tools. It's even less work that way.

• Yes, I noticed just now that even on my phone 440DPI , the title got cropped out. Thanks – user96208 Aug 14 '20 at 21:26