Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Do I like when people answer their own rhetorical questions? No.

I think rhetorical questions can be a persuasive and colorful form of language, but only when left unanswered.

I’m not sure how or when it started, but answering your own insincere rhetorical question seems to be increasingly popular these days, especially among public relation and business folk. Here’s how they do it: “Am I happy about [insert any controversial issue here]? No. But… [insert any justification here].” Worse still, rhetorical answer lovers will often string together three negative questions, followed by a mega justification. Dumb.

Good communication is concise and precise, replete with active voice and direct sentences. In other words, I don’t like when people answer their own rhetorical questions.