Doing things differently since 1984

Rhetorical Questions

Usually, on this blog I like to drive home the point that I don’t know all the answers.  Generally, this is true, but I am happy to report today that there are some oft-asked questions out there that I do know the answers to.  Frankly, I’m a little tired of hearing these obvious questions being repeatedly asked without a real answer.  So, if you are still among those seeking the truth, your quest is about to be completed!:


On its way to half empty.

1. Is the glass half empty, or half full?
This question is supposed to have a variety of answers, based on your outlook on life.  An optimist would supposedly say it’s half full, a pessimist would say it’s half empty, a realist would say it’s at the halfway mark, etc.  Personally, I can’t see what all the fuss is about.  If the glass was empty, it is now half full (been filled halfway); if the glass was full, it is now half empty (been emptied halfway).  Simple.

2. Which came first: the chicken or the egg?
The chicken, obviously (or two chickens, really).  That is, if you ascribe to the Creation theory.  If your bets are hedged on Evolution, then the answer is neither – the jungle fowl came first.

3. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it really make a sound?
Yes.  Obviously.  We can know this through the wonderful human thought process known as inductive reasoning.  Though I suppose if you found a good enough lawyer, you could create enough doubt to acquit the tree of its noise disturbance charges in court.

No point.

4. How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
The answer is none.  Wood chucks are yet another example of Americans not taking the time to listen, as their name is contrived from the Native American word “wuchak” for the same animal.  Wood chucks are like groundhogs.  They burrow.  They have no need to throw wood around.

5. To be, or not to be?
To the vast majority of us, “to be” would be the answer to “the question” here.  History has proven time and time again that even in the direst of circumstances, one of the most basic instincts of humanity is the will to survive.

6. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
One (or both) of them gets a definition change.

One of them will move.

7. If practice makes perfect, and nobody’s perfect, then why practice?
Practice doesn’t make perfect.  Whoever told you that was lying.

8. Why do bad things happen to good people? / Why does God let the bad things happen?
Because we live in a bad world.  Wouldn’t the removal of free will be even worse?

You'd cross the road too.

9. Why did the chicken cross the road?
Probably either because there was food on the other side, or a predator on the same side.  But that’s just a guess.


I hope that this clears up some confusion that seems to have been rolling around for quite some time.  It feels good to have made my contribution to society today.  Are there any that I missed?  Do you have some more answers of your own?

10 comments on “Rhetorical Questions

  1. rich
    April 18, 2012

    ok, let’s go through a few of these…

    1. both. it’s like asking “do i have half a dollar or 50 cents?” not exactly like that, but close enough.

    2. what’s a jungle fowl?

    3. it does not make a sound. sound only exists in your head when your ears translate vibrations into sound. same thing when a microphone picks up vibrations and puts sound on tape. the tree makes vibrations, not sounds.

    4. the question asks “if” it could. therefore, we’re going on the presumption that it can. then the answer might be, “it depends on how mad he is.”

    5. you are right about the survival instinct, yet people still commit suicide.

    6. if the unstoppable force is truly unstoppable, and if the immovable object is truly immovable, then what happens is the object will deflect its path in the direction of least resistance. it will change direction, depending on the angle at which is strikes the object and the shape of the object. if it’s flat, the object will likely return in the direction from which it came.

    7. nobody is perfect in their entirety, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be perfect at one task. therefore, practice can make perfect at whatever you’re practicing, but it doesn’t make the person perfect.

    8. agreed.

    9. agreed.

    • abtwixt
      April 18, 2012

      Great answers! I’d also go through them one by one, but then this could go on for a long time… but I especially love your answer to #4! As for the jungle fowl, I did make it a link 😉 You can read about jungle fowls (supposedly the closest predecessor to our chickens) here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_junglefowl

  2. aFrankAngle
    April 19, 2012

    Love the post! … I’ll follow Rich’s format.

    1. As long as the empty glass is not in a perfect vacuum, it is full.

    2. An question not meant to be answered.

    3. I’m with Rich and have an entire post on this topic in draft mode.

    4. Proof that woodchucks do chuck wood.

    5. Agree

    6. I vote on the force.

    7. Practice has never made perfect … but perfect practice is a good start.

    8. Free will of the world and of people.

    9. Or a hot mate.

    • abtwixt
      April 19, 2012

      Ah Geico, what would we do without their 30-second documentaries? 😉

      It seems that we’ll have to send both you and Rich down to the courthouse to defend that hapless tree, it will be glad to know that it has so many supporters as to its innocence. Though it would be a difficult trial in the first place, without any witnesses…

  3. rich
    April 19, 2012

    we’ll let the CSI team figure out what happened with the tree. as for those geico commercials, they’re brilliant. brain power at work, in all areas. commercials and us. rather modest of me to say that.

  4. Randel
    April 20, 2012

    This post reminds me of what does the “it” refer to when people say:
    it is a nice day,
    it is raining.

    Or the use of “they:”
    They say it will be a good year.
    I do not know, it is what they always say.

    Maybe an English teacher can inform me.

    • abtwixt
      April 21, 2012

      I used to enjoy aggravating people by asking, “They? Who’s ‘they’?” It didn’t make me popular…

      • cynicaldriver
        April 29, 2012

        “They” are all the people who don’t make sense half the time… “It” refers to the subject you are talking about: Day, Week, Month, Season, Animal, etc… “It” can also refer to the source of the subject: rain come from the sky, so the sky is “it.”

        That, or we are simply talking about the game of “Tag,” and they are running from the one who is “it.”

  5. cynicaldriver
    April 29, 2012

    1. Both.

    2. The egg… and the Jungle Fowl may have been the one to lay it, but I have no proof, so I’ll move on, lol.

    3. If we want to get super technical about it, then Rich and Frank are correct… However, I will just offer this; put microphones in the forest until a tree falls and find out.

    4. You missed the second half of the question “If a woodchuck could chuck wood.” So IF a woodchuck could chuck wood, then I would suppose it would chuck a lot of wood. As I am aware, there have been no studies into the throwing capacities of woodchuck, nor the size of the “wood;” so I can not give a real amount… Yet.

    I’m sure eventually some college will apply for a research grant, worth millions from Politician Land, to find out though.

    5. To be, DUH! To not be would be to die. lol.

    6. The immovable object gets smashed to bits… See “wrecking ball” for proof.

    7. To pretend.

    8. Because we would learn nothing if everything was always perfect.

    9. To get away from all the people watching it to find out the answer to this very question, thereby creating a time-space loop from which we can never escape?

    Please apply generous layer of humor to the above statements. Known side-effects are limited to random comments of “that’s just not funny.” Please consult your shrink immediately if you suffer hysterical laughter, as this can be a sign of a rare but serious undeclared side-effect that would cause me too much bad press.

  6. abtwixt
    April 30, 2012

    Haha — I must say, I’m a little bit humbled by the fact that I think my commenters have possibly put more effort into this than I did into the original post 😉 But anyway, thanks for your answers! I especially like your answer to #6 😀

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2012 by in Humor, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , .
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