Posts Tagged With: rhetorical questions

Day 2448: Inappropriate

Almost two years ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote a post titled “Appropriate.” As I often tell  members of my Coping and Healing groups, whenever we name an important topic in the room, the opposite is also implied.   Therefore, anything I write about “Inappropriate” today would also include aspects of “Appropriate.”

I think it’s appropriate that I move on with this blog post.

The inspiration for today’s blog post is somebody saying inappropriate things to me yesterday. By inappropriate, I mean

  • disrespectful,
  • toxic,
  • unprofessional,
  • unpleasant,
  • misdirected,
  • insulting,
  • condescending, and
  • probably dishonest.

Is it inappropriate to consult an online dictionary to see if that definition includes any of the same words in my list above?

not suitable or proper in the circumstances.
“there are penalties for inappropriate behavior”
synonyms: unsuitable, unfitting, ill-suited, unseemly, unbecoming, unprofessional, unfit, unbefitting, indecorous, improper, lacking in propriety, ungentlemanly, unladylike.

“Unprofessional” makes it to both lists of “inappropriate.”   Almost all of the other “inappropriate” words are appropriate to my experience yesterday (although I wonder about the appropriateness of “ungentlemanly” or “unladylike”).

When somebody is inappropriate, I

  • am shocked,
  • get angry,
  • feel at a loss for the right things to say,
  • try to get away from the person as soon as possible, and
  • enlist appropriate people to help me deal with the situation.

What do you do when somebody is inappropriate?

I’m not sure if any of my photos from yesterday are appropriate to today’s topic.




Personally, I think love is always appropriate.

Here’s “Inappropriate Behavior” by Lime Cordiale, performed live on the streets of Llanes, Spain.

Is it inappropriate that I also featured an Australian band in yesterday’s post?   Is it inappropriate that I’m guessing how my readers from Australia are going to respond?

Gratitude is never inappropriate, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s “Inappropriate” post and — of course! — to you, my always appropriate readers.

Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2291: Why? Why?

Why oh why am I writing a fourth blog post about Why?  Why am I linking to the previous three posts (here, here, and here)?

Why did I write “Why?” on two different white boards at work yesterday?



Why do white boards consistently get more difficult to erase?

Why were people in therapy yesterday asking so many WHY? questions, including:

Why is there so much traffic?

Why did it take me four times as long as usual to get here today?

Why do people back their cars into spaces in parking lots?

Why do people do what they do?

Why do I deliberately act like a mischievous child?

Why am I in so much pain?

Why am I in therapy?

Why aren’t other people in therapy?

Why did I take the rest of these pictures?


Why is it taking so much longer for me to access and transfer my photos? Why does that happen periodically?  Why does it bother me less each time it happens?

Why am I still having trouble writing that letter from the President for my professional organization’s newsletter?  Why did I start fresh yesterday with a new topic?  Why did Michael say he thought my first, abandoned topic  (the rejuvenation of Spring) was better? Why am I going to finish the second topic and then write another letter with the first topic if I have time? Why am I using the quote “If you want something to get done, give it to the busiest person” in my letter?

Why did I ask all the questions I did in this podcast (starting at 19 minutes and again at 28:34)?


Why did Michael not want to listen to that podcast last night? Probably for the same reason he doesn’t usually read this blog.   Why did I think I could find the post that explains that by searching on “Why Michael doesn’t read this blog”?

Why would you leave a comment today?

Why would I thank all those who help me write these posts and also YOU?  Why do you think?



Categories: health care, heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 401: What’s wrong?

What’s wrong, this morning?

  1. It’s snowing again, which might interfere with me getting to my yearly cardiology appointment (which I wrote about yesterday, which is not appearing as yesterday’s post, which I will attempt to explain in #2, directly below).
  2. WordPress — out of nowhere, inexplicably, suddenly, unexpectedly (I wonder how many other ways I could express this) — changed the “published on” date of yesterday’s post, about my cardiologist, to two days earlier than it should be, which is Groundhog Day, which might be kind of a cool metaphor, now that I think of it, but still annoys the hell out of me, especially since the order of the posts is now screwed up, and linking to that post might get screwed up, too.
  3. Doing footnotes (especially with superscripts) in these posts is a pain in the ass, and seems to invite all sorts of retribution from the WordPress Gods.

Short break, while I imagine what the WordPress Gods might look like.  Let’s see what comes up in “Google Images” for “WordPress Gods.”  Here’s the first image:


I wonder if Jenner Davis (a photographer whose WordPress blog yielded the above image) is having trouble with footnotes and inexplicable re-dating flukiness on WordPress?  PROBABLY NOT!

Pardon me, while I have a brief tantrum:

Why don’t things work the way they’re SUPPOSED to????????????????????

AND why do these things happen to ME????????????????

Hmmmm. I do feel a little better, getting those questions out of my head.

However, I now have posed two questions in this post that ….

…. I really can NOT answer.

Now what do we do?

Sometimes posing questions helps me (and other people I’ve observed) work things out.  Sometimes posing questions (like the question in today’s title) leads to identifying specifics, which can lead to problem solving.

For example, my specific answers to my title question — “What’s wrong? — will move me to solutions, such as:

  • Making decisions about my cardiology appointment today, focusing on safety and other possible options.
  • Sending a message to WordPress Support about that friggin’ re-dating phenomenon (which I can check off my to-do list … done!).
  • Switching my current footnote technique to something less “dangerous”.*

But questions like these:

Why don’t things work the way they’re SUPPOSED to?

Why do these things only happen to ME?

…. are unanswerable, if not imponderable. Sometimes I call those “rhetorical questions”:

I am going to use to answer the question, “What is a rhetorical question?” for some one-stop shopping, as follows:

A question asked merely for effect with no answer expected. The answer may be obvious or immediately provided by the questioner.

A rhetorical question can be “an effective persuasive device, subtly influencing the kind of response one wants to get from an audience” (Edward P.J. Corbett). See Examples and Observations, below.

Examples and Observations:

“Something [rhetorical] questions all have in common . . . is that they are not asked, and are not understood, as ordinary information-seeking questions, but as making some kind of claim, or assertion, an assertion of the opposite polarity to that of the question.”
(Irene Koshik, Beyond Rhetorical Questions. John Benjamins, 2005)

“Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?”
(H. L. Mencken)

“It did not occur to me to call a doctor, because I knew none, and although it did occur to me to call the desk and ask that the air conditioner be turned off, I never called, because I did not know how much to tip whoever might come–was anyone ever so young?”
(Joan Didion, “Goodbye to All That.” Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968)

Here’s another question, from me:

Does it help to ask those rhetorical, unanswerable questions? I guess we all might answer that question, in our own way.

Is the last question I asked … a rhetorical question?

Hey!  Fill in your own answer, why don’t you?  I have to figure out a way to get to my cardiologist.

But before I end this post, I would like to pose one more question — imponderable, rhetorical, whatever:


Why do the guys I live with NEVER have a towel in the downstairs bathroom?

Thanks to the guys I live with, people who ask questions I can’t answer (which, as my son has pointed out, often annoys the hell out of me),, Jenner Davis, Edward Corbett, Irene Koshik, John Benjamins, H. L. Mencken, Joan Didion (in order of appearance),  and to you — of course! — for reading today.

*  A safer, tried-and-true solution for footnotes would be these asterisks — or little stars — which (usually!) cause no problems in my posts, as long as I keep the list of footnotes short enough. Of course, there’s no guarantee of THAT. **

** But — at least —  I have control over that problem.

Categories: humor, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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