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Re: Dumb Question

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On Jun 15, 2007, at 2:08 PM, Bill Cain wrote:

Regarding your subject line, a colleague of mine frequently says: "the only dumb question is the one that doesn't get asked!" I strongly agree.
I'll quibble with this. I've heard plenty of dumb questions. Mostly they can be categorized as questions which allow more than one correct answer (What kind of panda eats shoots and leaves?) and asked by someone who doesn't understand enough to sort out which answer is useful. Another category of dumb question is one that isn't researched well enough to allow the questioner to distinguish a wrong or incomplete answer from a correct answer. (Can I weld stainless steel?) There's a really good web site 'How to ask questions the Smart Way <http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html> that explains how not to ask dumb questions.

There's actually a third type of dumb question--sharpshooting. Questions which attempt to score points on a speaker wastes everyone's time and may get the questioner a public verbal smack in the mouth when the speaker knows his stuff.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw/



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