You’re having a discussion about something and one person in the discussion group constantly prefaces their contribution by holding up their index finger and saying “Umm, question.” before they actually ask their question.
This annoys me.
This weekend I found out that I am not the only person that finds this kind of pseudo-permission-asking method to be maddening.
“I have a question for you.”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“There’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask you.”
“How would you answer this question?”
It seems the questioners have devised several different ways to ask the question about asking the question.
I did some research on both ends. Why does the person feel they need to ask the question about asking the question and why does it annoy us so much?
Some people see this as being polite. For instance, they don’t want to take up a lot of the person’s time by asking a question if the person they’re asking doesn’t have the time to really answer it. Okay, but wouldn’t you already know this? I mean you’re there in the conversation, right? You would know if your question will spark a huge drawn out explanation, right?
I think that it’s just arrogance. The person asking the question thinks they are about to add something to the debate that is profound and worthy, therefore they feel the need to preface it with some kind of announcement. “Almighty Me is getting ready to pose a Weighty Question to the group! Please pay attention NOW as I ask my Question! Is everyone ready? Are we all looking in my direction?” (asshat)
The person being annoyed by the question before the question is sometimes experiencing some kind of stress. (“Oh my god! If they’re asking if they can ask a question before they ask the question, then it must be bad!”) You will definitely stand up and pay attention if you think you’re about to be cornered, harassed or embarrassed by the ominous question if it’s so important that permission must be granted before the question is asked.
Sometimes the questioner is just looking to take up some time before asking the question. Perhaps they’re gathering their thoughts or making room for the person responding to prepare to answer with some thought.
Whatever! It’s annoying, so stop it! Just ask the dam question already! There’s a whole segment of the population that thinks you’re being a pompous jerk.
Let me ask you this…
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