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  1. #1
    Kristin Guest

    Default Question with a Question

    Hi,

    I was wondering what the term is (eg a paradox or allegory etc) that means to answer a question with an another question.

    thanks

  2. #2
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Question with a Question

    I don't think there is an English word for that. If this forum full of English teachers doesn't produce one, it probably doesn't exist.

  3. #3
    rhapsomatrics is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Question with a Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristin
    Hi,
    I was wondering what the term is (eg a paradox or allegory etc) that means to answer a question with an another question.
    thanks
    Answering this question may prove somewhat herculean as I can't readily lay my hands on any literary terminologies for answering a question with another question.However,I may do my bid by trying to consider the possible motives behind trying to or actually answering a question with another...it could be done innocently,ignorantly ,sarcastically or for emphasis.I don't seem to see anything paradoxical or allegorical about this....(my opinion)
    Last edited by rhapsomatrics; 30-Dec-2005 at 13:28.

  4. #4
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    Default Question with a Question

    As far as I know there is no name for this phenomena but I would say that I find it very irritating. If someone asks a question they expect an answer - and to ignore it and ask your own is not only irritating, but rude as well.
    Jeremy
    http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jeremytaylor/

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question with a Question

    In grammar, a paradox is a statement consisting of two parts that seem to mean the opposite of each other, or the use of this kind of statement in writing.

    The 1850s was a happy time and it was an unhappy time.

    An allegory is the use of events and characters as symbols in a story. An example of allegory is The Pilgrim’s Progress.

    So you can see that answering a question with a question is neither a paradox nor an allegory.

    But there is no reason why a question should not be answered by a question. For example:

    What is your grandfather’s name?
    Do you mean my maternal grandfather or my paternal grandfather?

  6. #6
    rhapsomatrics is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Question with a Question

    Quote Originally Posted by advoca
    In grammar, a paradox is a statement consisting of two parts that seem to mean the opposite of each other, or the use of this kind of statement in writing.
    The 1850s was a happy time and it was an unhappy time.
    An allegory is the use of events and characters as symbols in a story. An example of allegory is The Pilgrim’s Progress.
    So you can see that answering a question with a question is neither a paradox nor an allegory.
    But there is no reason why a question should not be answered by a question. For example:
    What is your grandfather’s name?
    Do you mean my maternal grandfather or my paternal grandfather?

    Sincerely speaking,I do not think that your definition of PARADOX is very acceptable to me.A statement that contains two parts which seem to be contrary or opposite in meaning is said to be ANTITHETICAL(anti1thesis) while the one that juxtaposes two opposite or contrary ideas is called OXYMORON..."I was taken through the illuminating darkness of this wicked world(oxymoron...putting side-by-side illumination and darkness which are opposite in meaning)..."the cell is a cruel place and sometimes a haven"...this is antithetical..."the cell is a cruel haven"(oxymoron)
    A paradox is a statement that contains some hidden or obscure truth which can only be appreciated upon re-examination or re-consideration.Though some paradoxical statements can or may contain some elements of antithesis,an antithetical statement cannot be said to be paradoxical...eg..."the pen is mightier than the sword"...apart from the "metonymous" undertone it has,the statement can be said to be paradoxical since the superiority of the pen(which symbolizes intellect) to the sword(which stands for crudity and savagery) can only be seen upon re-examination...(a much deeper thought)..."the cell is a cruel place and sometimes a haven"...apart from being antithetical,the statement can also pass for paradox as the real meaning will only be appreciated if given a much deeper second thought...despite the apparent "cruelty" that pervades cells,some people get rehabilitated...
    Similarly,I have one or two things to say about the "maternal grandfather" postulation.
    A:What is your grandfather's name?
    B:Do you mean my maternal or paternal grandfather?
    ...The statement made by B above,though asks a question,does not answer the question asked by A.B only sought clarification on the question asked by A.If A eventually answers the question,B will still have to post an answer...So,in my opinion,this is not a case of answering a question with another...
    C:WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
    D:WHY DO YOU ASK?...this sounds more like posting a question for a question.
    Last edited by rhapsomatrics; 28-Jan-2006 at 14:12.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question with a Question

    Advoca, excellent post. Kristin, I hope you found your answer(s).

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Question with a Question

    I don't really see why a paradox would necessarily have to be re-examined for the obscure truth within. The definition doesn't seem to require that- the reader/listener may well be able to apreciate the levels instantaneously, may they not?
    • noun 1 a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that may in fact be true. 2 a person or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.
    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/paradox?view=uk
    Last edited by Tdol; 30-Jan-2006 at 03:17.

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