# Are notation questions off-topic?

I was wondering if the Stats.SE community would know of a more compact way of writing $$(X_1, X_2, \dots, X_n) \sim F$$ since I use it so often, but there's nothing inherently difficult about the question that would require statistical knowledge.
For that reason, I'm unsure whether it is considered relevant here. Are questions regarding "good notation" fair game for Stats.SE?

• Are you simply asking about $\LaTeX$ shortcuts? If so, this question may help: latex-macros-for-expectation-variance-and-covariance, also there is an SE site for $\TeX$. Oct 28, 2012 at 2:26
• I meant in general, like writing. I want to know about a concise way of writing it. Oct 28, 2012 at 2:47
• What would it mean to have a "concise way of writing it", fewer characters in the line? There are conventions w/i matrix algebra for writing things like $(X_1, X_2, \ldots, X_n)$, but I would guess you know them already. Oct 28, 2012 at 2:53
• Yes, I do mean writing fewer characters in the line, but still retaining the clarity. I'm hesitant to use $\mathbf{X_n} \sim^{iid} F$, as it might be interpreted as a multivariate distribution on the vector. Oct 28, 2012 at 3:44
• The expression in the question is already ambiguous: literally, it says the vector $(X_i)$ has the multivariate distribution $F$. If you mean that you have a set of iid variables, it would be more correct and less ambiguous to write something like $\left\{ X_i \right\}\stackrel{iid}{\sim}F$. But in general, it's clearer to state what you mean (in English) the first time: then more readers are likely to understand your words correctly.
– whuber Mod
Oct 28, 2012 at 15:57