I think it started when I was about five years old. Someone would talk and I would listen attentively to everything that was said. At some point, a question would be posed and I would answer it as any attentive listener would. I didn't seem to matter who the orator was that posed the question--and I know everyone heard it as well as I did, unless I was the only one listening--I would get this response, "Frank, that was a rhetorical question!" At first, I thought they would follow their rhetorical question with their own answer, even after I received the above abasement from the orator. But nay, my friends, the orator would just leave the question posed without honouring it with an answer. If my answer was incorrect, why was I scolded so harshly? Then, when I was in high school, I realized that my answers were correct to each posed rhetorical question, but they were simply undefined. In mathematics, for example, a simple equation of
"? = 1 + 1"
has a question on the left hand side, and values and operators on the right which is clearly defined and calculable. A posed rhetorical question, call it "Rq" would have this form
Rq = UNDEFINED
That is UNTIL NOW
Continuing with a mathematical example and using function notation where f is a function, and Rq is any Rhetorical Question then f(Rq) is a function where the input is a rhetorical question. Then it follows that:
f(Rq) = F(Ra)
Where Ra is a Rhetorical Answer, and capital F is the answerer (operator) of the function---in the general case that would be Foxxfyrre.
I will leave the proof up to you to complete. (Didn't you hate it when a math teacher said that).
Now that Foxxfyrre's Rhetorical Answers are formally introduced and correctly, mathematically, and logically derived and defined, I can now illustrate its use.
Linda, from Are We There Yet? was the first respondent who posed a Rhetorical Question for me to answer.
Why is it that whenever I buy healthy fruit and vegetables they practically go bad before they can be eaten but whenever I buy preservative-laden snack foods that will last until the second coming, my teenage daughter eats them up before they've even had a chance to warm the shelf?
Foxxfyrre's Rhetorical Answer
This one's easy, Linda. It's because of the aliens--yes, the ET style, and the assault to humanity is on many, very organized fronts. Almost every preservative that is in snack foods (the one's that we can't pronounce) are alien technology designed to change our genetic makeup. These preservatives are both addictive, and adaptive. Each preservative is like a small strand of mRNA and works very similar to a virus. Other alien preservatives act like amino acids, proteins, or enzymes in order to assist the viral style preservatives to fulfill their function. A virus will kill a cell, but an alien preservative will gradually change genetic markers not killing the cell it inhabits. This change is very, very gradual and taking many generations to change us to what the aliens have defined for us. The change must be very slow for rapidly changing our genetic makeup could, and most probably would cause unexpected mutation which would render us unusable for the aliens.
Just putting a preservative in a snack food isn't going to make a child eat that snack, no that's why they surreptitiously attack on another front---Advertising. Advertising is an alien designed method of infiltrating humanity. It is such a successful method of manipulation that we have also learned of its benefits for business and use Advertising ourselves to fit our own goals. The most successful medium in which to manipulate our youths is of course television. And it's interesting to note, that television stations expanded greatly, with many States getting their licensing for television broadcasting starting in 1947--same year as the Roswell UFO crash--with almost all of America licensed by 1955. What's more, receiving the signal to enable us to watch a program was free. With a pair of rabbit ears perched on our TV sets focusing in on the broadcasts from networks such as ABC, CBS and NBC, we watched many, many hours of alien driven Advertising unaware of its affect on the average household.
In the late forties and early fifties children were expected to do chores, but there was no such thing as an allowance. Therefore children had no consumer power. The puzzle that the aliens needed to solve, was how to deliver their mutagen laden preservative to children to accomplish their goals. The answer to their puzzle was to get the family out and away from the kitchen table for dinner and glued to the 'box' while consuming a wonderful meal laden with alien preservatives. The Swanson TV Dinner was born and ready for consumption by 1953. By this time most of American States and Canadian Provinces had broadcasting licenses. Gradually, the family unit changed through the affect of the alien preservatives, and their increasingly aggressive marketing campaigns. Children had less responsibility in order to watch more Advertising, and were gradually given allowances (and raises on those allowances, and less chores) which in turn created a new consumer that we now term a teenager. The teenagers bought, they bought every consumable that the aliens could devise in order to spread their mutagen disguised in a snack food. Whether or not the Aliens motives are benign or malevolent is yet to be determined, but we are being changed. And you thought Mars Bars, and Milky Way Bars were just cute names for a chocolate bar.
(There's hidden truth in advertising!)
So there you have it, and please play along and send me your own rhetorical questions that, up until now, you have not been able to get a real Rhetorical Answer for. If you have a question you want the answer for, just add it in comments, just state that it is for Rhetorical Answers. I'm hoping to make this silliness a weekly feature, without the mathematics of course. Tag anyone and get them sending me rhetorical questions too.