10 Stupid Questions That Might Actually Not Be That Stupid

  1. What is one plus one? – Because kids are stupid sometimes. It is the basis of our counting system, and in binary, it is ten, so there are some contexts where it could work or be used to tell jokes and number puzzles. (although number puzzles often simply use numbers as symbols for something else the question still stands.) It also serves a purpose as a mathematical algorithm, but that isn’t how I’m defining a question this post.
  2. Do you understand me? – When used rhetorically, it works because it is a stupid question. I intended it though in a different sense as being a dumber alternative to do you speak English {specific language isn’t important, but I’m writing in English here}. Then I realized that do you speak English can be offensive in countries that teach English as a secondary language; or that people who learned it in school may think they speak it better than they do. (I can back this up with personal experience.)
  3. Are you stupid or what? – There are better ways to insult someone, and if someone is stupid enough for you to ask this than you shouldn’t need to. Still, some people struggle with being born dumb, but the culture we live in takes great offense at that.
  4. What’s the problem with pooping on the table? – Here I’m asking whether an action which is unacceptable to us, for a variety of reasons, is acceptable to us. The place I see this question being asked is from the very young child of a family of pet owners, but even then, from our perspective, it’s just because they don’t yet know better, and in that scenario, it’s a valid question. (Because the statement “there are no stupid questions” )
  5. Is this question stupid? – This question is, in fact, a tool that can be used to measure what you define as a stupid question.
    The question is, in fact, the quintessential stupid question neither the person asking or the person asked the question gain any benefit (other than possible entertainment) from this question being asked. Still, it is a good thing to compare against when deciding whether a question is stupid. Because while stupid questions can serve rhetorical purposes, what defines a question as stupid depends entirely on the context because the purpose of a question is to trigger or advance the communication or confirmation of true information. (To the best of the people who are talking’s knowledge.) Hence, a stupid question is one that doesn’t work, doesn’t help information move around. (keep reading please I’ll try to keep this interesting)
  6. People shouldn’t be allowed to carry deadly weapons, right? – This is just a controversial example, but this question isn’t stupid for its content but for its delivery. When asking a question with this format, you are already communicating your personal opinion. Instead of asking for information that you can use to add nuance to your opinion, this question structure often comes because you’re either seeking social validation or shooting down opposing arguments.
  7. Isn’t he the cutest? – Asking something just to validate your opinion. Stupid questions can still be fun. (the more I work on this, the harder it is to come up with a stupid question. I should correct my definition of a stupid question because looking for validation can be a valid use of a question. Still, normally it is somewhat manipulative as people answer depends more on the social surroundings than on the question itself. So the question can be smart or stupid, but it doesn’t matter much. I could say these aren’t stupid questions because other peoples’ opinions are, in fact, information that they communicate. Still, then I’d put this in the same category as when questions are used as rhetorical devices.)
  8. Knock Knock? – Knock-knock jokes are stupid (In my opinion). Stating the words knock knock as a question conveys the fact that the person asking doesn’t know whether there is someone nearby. Yes, there are different, probably better, ways to ask this. This may be a greeting, but it still conveys quite a bit of information, so I’ll let it pass.
  9. Should I stock up on toilet paper? – No, you shouldn’t, there are many alternatives, and big packs of toilet paper can last very long If you’re worried stock up on food.
    This question isn’t stupid itself; it is just inspired by a stupid notion, but asking allows that notion to be discarded.
  10. Do you speak African? – This is considered a stupid question because some of the information assumed when asking it is false; African is not a language. And by my definition, it can be a stupid question because it is requesting a yes or no answer, both of which would communicate false information. Still, this question is worth asking if you don’t know any better because the person you’re asking would correct you on the errors inherent to it.

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