Saturday, March 14, 2015

question/ask: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Saturday, March 14, 2015

When you question someone, you may ask a series of questions trying to arrive at the truth: “The police questioned Tom for five hours before he admitted to having stolen the pig.” “Question” can also mean “challenge”: “His mother questioned Timmy’s claim that the cat had eaten all the chocolate chip cookies.” But if you are simply asking a question to get a bit of information, it is not appropriate to say “I questioned whether he had brought the anchovies” when what you really mean is “I asked whether he had brought the anchovies.”

This is the ten-year anniversary of the Common Errors in English Usage calendar. To celebrate, we are bringing back some of our favorite interesting, funny, but sometimes merely silly entries through the years before going on hiatus in 2016.

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