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Are there any good explanations for questions without a subject like this:

Why bother to read fiction?

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If you're asking 'Is this sort of structure (a) grammatical (b) acceptable (c) common?', I'd answer (a) Some would say not, but I wouldn't agree (b) Some would say not, but I would say 'If used: sensibly / without inviting confusion / in moderation' (c) Quite common. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 5 '14 at 9:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The subject is implied; usually it would be the one to whom the question is addressed, but in the case of a hypothetical question like this I'd expect the subject to be "anyone", e.g.:

e.g. "Why [would one] bother to read fiction?"

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+1. Thanks a lot. Is there a book or a website to get more information about this? – boburShox Apr 5 '14 at 5:01
Does this help: grammar.about.com/od/il/g/interrogterm.htm – Jeffrey Kemp Apr 5 '14 at 5:03

It is an elliptical construction. "Why should we bother to read fiction?" is shortened to "Why bother to read fiction?". Even with the omission of "should we" the question remains understandable.

As to your question is there a place where this is explained in detail, I can only say the explanation of elliptical constructions is a neglected field in dictionaries and in grammars. Both only tell us how things are, but not how such elliptical constructions came into being. But it would be very helpful if dictionaries and grammars would pay more attention to such questions.

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Thank you very much. I have better understanding of it now. – boburShox Apr 6 '14 at 14:52

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