Monday, June 15, 2009

Annoying ways to ask a question...

I recently answered some mathematics questions on Yahoo Answers.

This reminded me of some of my pet peeves when people ask for mathematical help -
many of which are apparently attempts to minimize the scale of your contribution

* "Can I ask a question? It'll only take a moment."
-- yes, questions rarely take long to ask - but the answer won't be nearly as fast.

* "This is a simple problem"
-- it often isn't. If was so darn simple, you'd answer it yourself.

* "Why are you making this so complicated? It was a simple question!"
-- see question 1. Just because the question was brief doesn't mean it has a simple solution. Fermat's last theorem could be explained to a child and stated in a few lines!

Further annoyances more particular to YA include people just posting their entire homework with not the slightest indication that they've even attempted any of it, sneering responses when you don't just give them all the answers with fully worked solutions, and snarky reactions when you point out that merely typing their question as is into google would have got them the answer instantly.

No comments:

Post a Comment