Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rules For Question Talkers

There is a disease in this world that needs to be stamped out. That is the disease of the "Question Talker". This has annoyed me for years, especially since I'm married to one.

The mark of a Question Talker is this: the person sets himself or herself up with a softball question to then appear to be knocking it out of the park. This is worse than the Strawman logical fallacy.

Sample:

QT: Am I very angry? Yes, I am.

Something that occurred to me is the Question Talker probably fancies himself or herself as Socrates. But you're not Socrates. Commenting on a blog post in softball question and answer format is NOT Socratic. It doesn't make you appear intelligent. It makes you appear pretentious. You don't want to appear pretentious, do you?

There probably are some situations in which a soliloquy question and answer format might work.Here are some rules I propose you follow so you actually can appear Socratic and wise:

1) You must be wiser or more knowledgeable on the subject you are engaging in question talking on. Commenting on a Blogspot or Wordpress blog does not indicate you are. Or commenting in person at a diner. You and your peers may well be intelligent and maybe you know what you're talking about (but probably not), but you're peers, not wise mentor/ young mentee.

2) Question talking is best done in characters. Rather than you having a question and answer session all by yourself, turn it into a parable. The Tortoise and the Hair. The Rich man and Lazarus. This will eliminate the wife trying to express the fact that she's angry in question and answer format. Unless she's creative enough to make a parable with independent characters out of it, she can just come right out and say "I'm angry!" See, it's a more efficient use of language. People love stories.
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