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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • 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 distrust, it may also be motivated by lack of knowledge and a desire to learn. Of course there are many other possibilities, too.

    From what dictionary are you citing these definitions, or did you write them based on your own understanding of these terms?

    Defining "doubt" as something "that often interferes with decision-making" could be interpreted as negative editorializing, implying that that sort of doubt is bad. If someone refuses to make a decision because of well-founded skepticism or lack of critical knowledge, that's almost always a good thing.

    • 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