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The question before the question

December 2, 2010

I’ve observed something that I find interesting but cannot explain.
Why do people nearly always ask a question before they ask the question they want to ask.

Examples might be useful.

Are you going into town today? / Can I have a lift?
Do you know anything about computer? / My computer won’t boot do you know what I can do to fix it?
What are you doing for lunch? / A few of us are going to a restaurant, do you want to join us?

It appears to be done to soften people up before asking them a favour or their involvement in something.

Listen for it and I’d expect you will come across this every day.

 

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