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I was always wondering, why is "Who would like to see [something]?" replied to with yes or yeah by the crowd on TopGear? Is it just for the sake of convenience or lack of better expression for this situation in English? Maybe the presenters are asking the "wrong" question? Or is this common?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You're right in being confused by the disconnect between the question and the answer but that "Who wants to see..." / "Yeah!" question/answer combination has become very commonplace on TV shows and live events where there is a desire to get an enthusiastic response from an audience.

When the host or commentator stirs up the crowd with "Who wants to see Justin Bieber jump into a vat of hot fudge?", though appropriate, you will not hear anyone answer, "ME!". Instead you'll hear, "YEAH!"

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Perhaps the audience replies Yeah! because they are uncertain whether it should be Me! or I!. Or perhaps not. – TimLymington Mar 19 '13 at 18:06
@TimLymington, in my experience of watching monster truck events and other similar events, I've not recalled seeing that grip of grammatical terror in the crowd's eyes. lol! – Kristina Lopez Mar 19 '13 at 18:09
Thanks for the answer but still... Why aren't the presenters asking "would you like to see...?" question if they want to get the "yeah" answer? How has this evolved? – Borek Mar 19 '13 at 21:44
'Who would like to see' is better hedged than 'Would you like to see', which tacitly assumes no dissenters from a majority view. Answering 'I' or 'Me' would sound rather cheesy, so 'Yes' (which can always be regarded as an ellipted form of 'Yes, I would' - ellipses often work to our advantage) is the usual response. Compare: "Who would like coffee?" - "Yes, please." – Edwin Ashworth Mar 19 '13 at 23:54
@Borek, I've thought about your question in the comment above. All I can add is that when I tried saying "Who" like the event MC's, it comes out louder and more forceful than "Would" or ""Do (you)" so maybe it's a sound issue more than a word issue. Just a guess, really. – Kristina Lopez Mar 21 '13 at 11:44

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