I love a good rhetorical question (“Why can’t every day be my birthday?” or “Is there no one who can save us from Super Villain X’s evil machinations?”). The whole point of a rhetorical question however is that the question is either unanswerable or the answer is self-evident (“Uh, it’s just not physically possible to have endless birthdays.” or “Obviously Super Hero Y will come and save the day!”).
It really bothers me when rhetorical questions are misused to incorrectly imply that something is unanswerable or self-evident as is the case in this blog post from #DadLife. He proudly details how his child plays an iPad game for ten whole minutes and then ends his post with a rhetorical question: “[D]id she get to do anything like this level of problem solving in her 7 hours at school today?”
The author is implying one of two things here and I am honestly not sure which one to go with:
- He has no means of knowing what his daughter might have learned in school today.
- It is obvious to everyone that his daughter did not learn anything of value in school today.