suppose that someone at top echelon of an institution delivers a statement. I doubt whether the statement is a fact or not. Do I say "I question it" or anything else? what is the short laconic phrase or word for it?

if I say "I question it", the speaker might think I am doubting his authority rather than the statement he made. what is a better way of doing it? I don't want to use the word question to avoid ambiguity.

also, I am questioning his statement in an affirmative tone, assuming that he is wrong or might be wrong.

  • I'm not quite sure what "questioning him in an affirmative tone" means. Usually if you don't want to put the blame on the speaker you say something that allows the blame to be placed elsewhere: I'm sure he thinks what he says is true, but I think he may have been given some inaccurate information.
    – Jim
    Apr 27, 2014 at 18:46
  • @vickyplace You just mentioned in your last sentence "I am questioning "him." Are you actually questioning the validity of his statement, or questioning him about it?
    – Elian
    Apr 27, 2014 at 18:48
  • I am questioning his statement.
    – vickyace
    Apr 27, 2014 at 18:52
  • it has been corrected now
    – vickyace
    Apr 27, 2014 at 18:53

4 Answers 4


'Query' the statement is the more usual choice, not having the same 'personal slur' connotation that 'question' has. Though people often still take it personally when you point out / advise them / suggest they are wrong.


That is what the word inquiry has been used for - in ascertaining the validity of a situation, without placing undue negativity on the situation.

We would say that we are inquiring about a verbal pronouncement made by an executive.

In the industrial world, whole frameworks are built to make such inquiries as neutral as possible. The frameworks are called Quality Assurance.

The attitude in quality assurance is, regardless if your opinion is true, it cannot hold unless supported by sufficient evidence.

We would first state that the current amount of evidence produced is insufficient to accept an observation or opinion as an existent and usable entity. We would state to the producer, that the opinion or observation at its current state is useless and unusable, regardless how true it might be.

We would therefore perform an evidentiary inquiry to increase the quality of an indication or observation, to levels required for the observation or opinion to be a usable entity within the process flow of a product or decisions made in a company, where you as a stake holder and contributor is involved in making such decisions.

I am thinking the phrase would be to make some quality assurance inquiries, or to subject an observation to quality improvement procedures.


"not convinced".

Is the question at issue a matter of fact (i.e. something that can be verified in an encyclopedia, or is it something unknown, like the best course of action? It's generally a little impolite to question an expert on issues of fact, but being skeptical about something unknown is just fine - in which case I might say "I'm not convinced that his plan will work as he described".

If it's an issue pertaining to a fact, I think you could say "I'd like to verify that".


A top executive being mistaken about something or misspeaking when addressing an issue--who ever heard of such a thing? When I am the one who has said something that doesn't accord with the facts, I appreciate someone letting me know. However, with some people, that could be a risky thing to do. Avoid correcting or questioning your boss when others can hear, and consider carefully the strength of the relationship when doing so in private. Oh, and a word for questioning the validity of another's statement is argue.

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