In this question I am asking why we use the negative (isn't it/that), as if we are challenging their point of view, rather than the positive (is it/that), as if we are expecting them to agree with us, when we are asking for confirmation of a statement/asking a rhetorical question? An example of this is; 'wearing makeup everyday is pointless isn't it?' That was a bad example I admit but I think you know what I mean.

  • 'Wearing makeup everyday is pointless, isn't it?' may be paraphrased 'Wearing makeup everyday is pointless. Isn't this true?' You're asking for confirmation of your statement as presented, rather than just asking for the truth value of the premise: 'Is it true that wearing makeup everyday is pointless?' – Edwin Ashworth Aug 5 '17 at 13:21
  • Yes, I understand. Is it okay if I quote you on that? – DjangoReinhardt Aug 5 '17 at 13:48
  • It's not researched and supported by a recognised authority (hence not posted as an 'answer'), but feel free. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 5 '17 at 13:55
  • Here's one of many on questions tags. english.stackexchange.com/questions/64646/… – Xanne Aug 5 '17 at 18:00

I am getting tired of those "is it not...?" questions. My answer either starts with "Yes it is not..." or "No it is not..." Lawyerly questions get lawyerly answers.

The question should be asked as Edwin states, "Is it true that...?"

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