# Should we ask for MathJax to use escaped dollar signs as delimiters?

We currently use dollar signs as delimiters, which means that if we want to use real dollar signs, we have to escape them. Code Review and Electrical Engineering use escaped dollar signs as delimiters. Should we do this as well?

Code Review discussion here.

Sorry it took me so long to look this up. I should have been more aggressive when I first realized that we were doing it the other way.

$dollar sign delimiter$

\$escaped dollar sign delimiter \$


Outputs

$dollar sign delimiter$

\$escaped dollar sign delimiter \$

I can see at least one question where it looks like the author wrote out "dollar sign" because it was not obvious how to get the symbol to output properly.

I think we should keep using the dollar sign. As common as it is in economics, I believe it is not that common when discussing economic models. Much more common is to use mathematics without the dollar sign and keeping it as a math delimiter allows us to copy equations directly from $\LaTeX$ or writing them using the acquired muscle memory.

Nevertheless, @Brythan's point is still valid and in the end I don't believe it makes such a huge difference either way.

• (+1) for the point regarding compatibility with \LaTeX. Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 20:40
• Yeah, the dollar sign is not used that much in academic economics. I'm not sure I've even seen it in an academic article. Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 20:48

Keep as is

We need much more often the Mathjax-operator than the currency denominator. It's much more efficient to have the dollar sign be the operator. Of course, this will hurt beginners, but it's something they will observe once and then apply. Also, this gives some free edits for the badges ;)

I think the efficiency gain is worth the entry barrier.

• (+1) ...which goes to show that perfect competition is not always the ideal framework. Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 20:41

In my opinion, we should make this change. A dollar sign is a common symbol here. We talk about currencies a lot; this is an English speaking site; the largest English speaking country uses a dollar sign as the currency symbol.

We should take this hit (it requires editing existing questions) as soon as possible.

It makes more sense to make MathJax support a little harder than to make using a dollar sign harder for everyone who has to do it.