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jtrammell (6222)

Journal of jtrammell (6222)

Thursday June 21, 2007
11:26 AM

"question" ne "doubt"

[ #33573 ]
A little clarification for those who use "doubt" and "question" (as nouns) interchangeably:

Question: an interrogative expression often used to test knowledge; an interrogative sentence or clause

Doubt: uncertainty of belief or opinion that often interferes with decision-making; a deliberate suspension of judgment

OK, Thanks!

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  • my perlmonks posting on question v doubt [perlmonks.org].

    Seems to most commonly be mistaken by asian-language speakers... perhaps the concepts overlap more completely in asian languages.

    --
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
  • I doubt that.

    Question, can you provide me with a sentence in which the word doubt means that you are suspending judgement? By this I do not mean a sentence with doubt in it that shows that you are suspending judgement. That's easy, "We chose to continue despite our doubts." I mean a sentence where doubt clearly has that meaning.

    Thanks,
    Ben
  • I doubt the helpfulness of comparing "question" and "doubt" directly. ;^) Most dictionaries assign several shades of meaning to these terms, but here are two from WordNet that are similar to yours, but show more clearly what I mean:

    question

    a sentence of inquiry that asks for a reply

    doubt

    the state of being unsure of something

    You seem to be objecting to assumptions about the state of mind behind a question. While a question certainly can be motivated by doubt arising from unfriendly distru

    • Those definitions came from m-w.com (in this context I looked at the noun definitions).

      My motivation for this post is my experience with English speakers of Indian extraction using these terms interchangeably; I've never seen it with other ethnicities, Asian or otherwise. This is entirely a nitpicky post, and I have no illusions that it will affect anyone's decision to speak English more clearly.

      In my own parlance, a question is a statement used to elicit information from someone: I asked her a questio