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I'm looking for a word or idiomatic phrase to describe a question that can be answered by a "yes" or "no", but has a higher probability of getting a more open-ended response.

Indeed, without the "yes/no" requirement I'd describe what I'm looking for as an "open ended question", but the possibility to answer "yes/no" is key here.

An example question would be:

Do you feel remorse for your affiliations with the Nazi party?

Although it doesn't have to be a loaded question, just something which you are reasonably sure is going to get the responder talking beyond the y/n

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do you have an example question? –  Matt Эллен Nov 11 '11 at 14:11
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If we buy into Wikipedia's contrast between open-ended and closed-ended questions, I guess OP is thinking of a middle-ended question. But that's not currently a recognised term. –  FumbleFingers Nov 11 '11 at 14:34
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@Matt "Do you feel remorse for your affiliations with the Nazi party?"...although it doesn't have to be a loaded question, just something which you are reasonably sure is going to get the responder talking beyond the y/n –  kekekela Nov 11 '11 at 18:47
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@pedantic: Feel free to post middle-ended as the answer to your own question. That way you can be sure it'll get at least one upvote (mine!). –  FumbleFingers Nov 11 '11 at 19:49
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WOW! I just created my very own Googlewhack there! Assuming TPTB will accept hyphenated "middle-ended" as a single word, paired with "question". –  FumbleFingers Nov 12 '11 at 0:00

3 Answers 3

Exam question came to my mind, just for fun though.

A typical exam question:

Is hell exothermic or endothermic?

How would we answer that? Should we just respond with exothermic or endothermic without a tedious justification, we simply wouldn't expect to get the mark.

Check out one possible open-ended answer for a laugh.

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+1 for the link! –  FumbleFingers Nov 11 '11 at 23:55

Your example looks like a leading question, where an alert answerer will argue with the framing of the question rather than simply giving a yes/no answer (and the lawyer who asked it will yell "Just answer yes or no, please!" while the opposing lawyer calls for an objection).

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'Surface probe'-a question asked to elicit a reaction rather than a specific answer. I've got no authority for this definition, other than its use by S.J. Perelman in one of his 'feuilletons'

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