Wednesday, June 08, 2005

let's get bogged down in semantics

I don't like the verbal prefacing of a question with the word "question". Such as, "Question - when did Lincoln die?" How about instead of prefacing the question with "question" we use the 5 Ws and H to indicate a question? Or we construct our sentences in a fashion such that the question is obvious? Like, "Why do dweebs write about such things?" Or we furrow our brows in confusion when posing a question. Or we could change the inflection of our voices so that the listener discerns we are indeed asking a question.

What causes this behavior? Did the asker once ask a question and the person he was asking stood their staring at him in silence? "How are you today?" *Long awkward silence* "I mean, question - how are you today?" And then the person answered and the asker never wanted to suffer that awkwardness again.

To people that do it often, I will sometimes preface my answer with "answer". "Question - when will you be done with that assignment?" "Answer - details are fuzzy. Ask again later." Unfortunately, prefacing with "answer" doesn't seem to indicate the proper level of annoyance and the asker will continue to preface questions with "question". Maybe I need better prefacing. Instead of saying only "answer", I could be more specific. It would go like this. "Question - did you look into that job posting?" "Indifferent bullshit - yah, I think that'd be a great opportunity." Or "Question - you're still working on that math puzzle I finished hours ago?" "Annoyed sarcasm - I bet you're the smartest person ever." Or "Question - why is your face greenish?" "Nauseated - I think I'm gonna be sick." (I know that one's a stretch.) Better yet, we could all talk monotone and tag our speech frequently. "Loud screech - I love David Cassidy," (roll with me here) or "Guttural drone - Luke I am your father," or "Creepy falsetto - what we have here is a failure to communicate."

Conclusion - let's take all the nuance out of commmunication and talk to each other like machines.


Blogger Joe said...

Outstanding idea. It would also solve the other annoying question quirk -- people who always sound as if they are asking a question. Hi? My name is Joe? etc.

3:43 PM

Blogger C-8 said...

I have issues with people who preface questions with: "Can I ask you a question?"

4:09 PM

Blogger roger said...

The newer (to the US) the Indian IT contractor the more he sounds like every statement is a question. So there are some awkward silences when he's waiting for me to figure out that I'm supposed to be answering him.

4:21 PM


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