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Is there a word or phrase that describes a statement that implicitly requires the audience (a person or persons) to respond with a question? For example, if someone says to you, "I just saw the best movie ever!" You, in turn, are implicitly required to ask, "What movie did you see?" The idea I am looking for would be the antonym of a "rhetorical statement", if such a thing existed.

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  • A provoking statement? – 54 69 6D Sep 8 '16 at 19:56
  • non-rhetorical ? – Bohemian Aug 15 '20 at 21:53
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I believe this is simply the nature of conversation. Asking a question is only one of the acceptable ways to move forward in such a scenario. The audience may respond with a guess instead of a question. The audience may pause and wait for a follow-on statement which provides more information. The audience may also choose to ignore the statement entirely and change the subject.

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To my knowledge, no such phrase is commonly used in English. The sole exception would be perhaps a leading statement or question. That is not to say that it comes before something but rather it prompts the user to subconsciously respond (though not necessarily with a question).

Many attorneys (or at least the good ones) are proficient in this as they can trick the respondent into revealing more information than intended.

There could be such a phrase used by academicians in the field of linguistics however.

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  • This may be incorrect. A leading question suggests a desired answer; it doesn't prompt one to answer. – Andre Dickson Sep 14 '16 at 12:45
  • Removing the part about the leading question, this I think is correct. – user195888 Sep 14 '16 at 15:37
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There is a slang term for Facebook status updates that are like this:

Vaguebooking

An intentionally vague Facebook status update, that prompts friends to ask what's going on, or is possibly a cry for help.

Urban Dictionary

See also: Vaguebook.


In real life, I would call it a vague, attention-seeking statement. (But not to their face.)

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