Viewpoint: Ask a Stupid Question Day

Has a teacher ever asked you to put your hand down because what you were asking was silly? When policemen pull you over, are your questions given the weight they deserve, or are you swiftly and officially punished for simply seeking an explanation? Did your parents ever answer a question with “just because”?

Sept. 28 is unofficially recognized as Ask a Stupid Question Day, a holiday invented in the 1980s through a movement by teachers. The original intent, according to, was to “get kids to ask more questions in the classroom. Kids sometimes hold back, fearing their question is stupid, and asking it will result in ridicule.”

Frankly, this shouldn’t simply be a day for kids, but a day for all of us to sit back and think, “Why?” For anyone out there who has ever begun a question with the qualifier “this might sound stupid, but . . .”, this day is for you. Today is your quasi-official chance to get those stupid questions off your chest. And, as The Signpost staff, here are a few we’d sure love to ask somebody (if you know who can answer them, please let us know):

Why is it that any point can be made in a five-paragraph essay? Are there only three sub-points to each main point? What if there were four? What would we do with the second-to-last paragraph if there were only two?

When exactly is it that we’re going to use the quadratic equation or gerunds? Do I need to know about the Magna Carta to be a good accountant?

Why didn’t he/she call again after that last date? I thought it went pretty well, but was I boring?

Which war was against Italy, again? In which one were they on our side? And what about Russia? Was the Cold War really a war? What about the War on Drugs?

How do I know if my tires are full enough? What is optimum tire pressure? Does the red cable connect to the plus part, or the minus part? How do I jump someone’s car without letting them know I’m not sure how to do it?

Why are there no naturally occurring blue foods? Are blueberries and blue corn technically blue, even though they’re really more purple? What about blue Jell-O? Does that count?

Does nothing really rhyme with orange? Has no one at least invented a word by now to make that false? Is that something we want to happen or not? Is someone actively keeping words that rhyme with non-rhyming words from entering the vernacular?

Why is this editorial not about Native American Day, the fourth Friday of the month of September? Was it too serious a column topic to fall on a day before school is out? And what about National Good Neighbor Day? Isn’t that on Sept. 28 too?

Is the nose really the center of the face, like we drew it as kids? Why doesn’t the sun hang out in the corner of all our pictures? What’s wrong with that?

And why did the chicken cross the road?