But she did have a Ph.D. in psychology, a brilliant... Freakonomics ® is a registered service mark of Freakonomics, LLC. 4. You hear it in all kinds of media interviews, during the Q&A portion of tech conferences and academic conferences. This is the British English definition of (that’s a) good question.View American English definition of (that’s a) good question.. Change your default dictionary to American English. MSNBC: Why has that not been enough to get him off of death row in Texas? !” What? We’ve even given you some sample questions. I structure the question hoping to get the best possible response. When you start saying “great question” to every questioner, I actually wonder if you are really listening or if you are playing by a rulebook, in which case I start to question your authenticity, which means I wonder if I can trust you. You say, “That’s a good question.” It buys you a little time. Most of the questions we ask? DUBNER: For the purpose of this discussion, we’re sticking to English and the phrase we’re discussing today – “that’s a great question.”. When you respond to a question with “That’s a great question!”, that’s just SAD –> Stall + Avoid + Distract. So it definitely seems to be more of an American thing. “When an investor or outside board member asks a stupid question,” Kessler writes, “the CEO says ‘that’s a great question’ and then gives the questioner an action item, something like: ‘OK, can you survey the competition and report back on their capital plans and hiring ratios? They’re about the discussion itself and what they do is lay out a map or a path for the people listening to the discussion, the people involved in the discussion. Your email address will not be published. “That’s a great question” may have originated in media training, as a “bridge” — a way for an interviewee to take a question in a different direction than the interviewer intended. DUBNER: How do you take it when someone says – let’s say you’re sitting down with, you know, maybe it was Steve Jobs, maybe it was President Clinton, and you ask a question, and they look at you across the table, and say, “Charlie, you know, that’s a great question.” Does it feel like they’re trying to flatter you? 3. Your email address will not be published. ... Lucky for us, the thesaurus teaches us that the English language is teeming with words beyond good, great and OK. Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page have written an incredible book: “One Word That Will Change Your Life.” They share: “87% of us make New Year’s Resolution every year. There is incredible power in having a single focus! OBAMA: Well, Katherine, this is a great question. And when you’re actually in the discussion, you get the feeling that points are being made, and important things are being brought up and good questions are being asked even if they might not be. Yeah it is true that people like their cows to have gotten to walk around a lot and eat fresh grass. If you have a question, say it’s a question. The traditional example is the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" Something's going on. and this Her: "Wanna go to the park?" The other thing that happens to me is that, you know, there’s an interesting thing…people come to my table expecting to talk about themselves, their work, their relationships, their hopes for the future, their experience — they come expecting that. Stop saying “It is a great question!!”. Every audience has its share of people out in left field and so telling someone who has asked a kooky question that they asked a “great question” makes me question your judgment. 12. Spend any time around teens, and you’re likely to hear the common expression, “That’s so gay" — even among gay kids. Reebusacassafram. Saying "That's a good question" gives you a little more time to think of your response. Stop saying “I’m good.” Say this instead. We’ve even given you some sample questions. Second: Please stop leaving those poor, innocent little participles hanging on the end of phrases. CHARLIE ROSE: Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner are here. Most of the time, you know, in regular conversation, that’s not what happens. [MUSIC: Seks Bomba, “San Mateo Theme Song” (from Thanks and Goodnight)], It was absurd because it had become such a habit that it lost its meaning. So, that is a phrase that was invented by some genius. I, for instance, begin way too many sentences with “So.” As in: “So, what have we learned so far.” Or: “So, what McGowan is really saying here …” Or: “So, even President Obama uses a verbal bridge.”, MCGOWAN: He has two words he uses that accomplish the same thing. But not everyone has soured on the phrase. Stop saying "That's a good question." 11 MCEVERS: I want to talk about timing, though. But some people do use the phrase strategically. LEVITT: Maybe I invented it. I never asked that one. Close • Posted by just now. And sometimes, some will ask a very pointed, insightful question, to which you can say, “What an interesting question” or “That IS a great question!”. OKRENT: And I did a search on the phrase there and it only showed up 35 times in, you know, a corpus of like 100 million words. And things like “that’s a good question,” “look,” “the point is,” “what I’m saying is” — all of these phrases are, they’re meta discourse phrases. Homeland Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes. They never stop asking questions, and I never stop asking questions, just like a five year old. Definition and synonyms of (that’s a) good question from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.. Please stop saying "that's a really good question." Here are some reasons why it seriously bothers me and why I recommend you avoid saying it: Now, Q&A is tricky and can undermine the best presentation preparation. I do know where I learned to say this was from the former Dean of Students at Dartmouth and he was always getting in these conversations in passing where he had to have the response but he had no idea what the person was talking about. DUBNER: I remember when I first heard you say it. Close But No Cigar Coming close to a successful outcome only to fall short at the end. A phrase usually indicating that the speaker has absolutely no idea how to answer said question. 13 MCEVERS: The presidential election, of course, is about six months away. It might have been talking about a relative of yours. # Book Thats A Great Question What To Say When Your Faith Is Questioned # Uploaded By John Grisham, less a collection of answers to specific questions raised in scripture but more of a primer on critical thinking skills as they relate to gods word thats a great question helps christians move from simple answers to find the tools to This is not to say that it is not your responsibility to respond to every question with your full attention and respect. We’re friends here. I encourage it at a couple levels. Expanding your vocabulary is another great way to … If we’d been in the opposite seats today, if this lame idea that I had was your lame idea, and you were interviewing me about it, what would have been your first question to me about the topic of the rise of “hey, that’s a great question.”, ROSE: Why do you think people frequently say, “that’s a great question?”. If you have a question, say it’s a question. I spend more time now simplifying the question. ": People say this when someone asks a question that's a little difficult to answer. Every guy should know a handful of good questions to ask a girl… because:. Look the questioner in the eyes and answer. You should engage in conversations that have to do with something – not all the time – it should often be simply, reacting to the moment in the moment that we all do, whether it’s sports or entertainment, or relationships, but there are those profound questions that I think all of us would be better off if we occasionally dived into. They ask question and have a sense of wonder. And if you think about when we did our book tour, you know, some of the people who interviewed us were amazingly clever and well-prepared. And there is a kind of moment in which you try to say something that is…that just captures the moment and makes the person be caught up in the question rather than simply, you know, repeating something that they’ve said a thousand times before. Deeks: She likes you more than she likes me. Levitt’s my Freakonomics friend and co-author – an economist at the University of Chicago. ROSE: Oh, I do think that and I encourage that. As I mentioned, this page contains a list of funny question you can ask Cortana. Burst Your Bubble To ruin someone’s happy moment or mood, usually by telling them disappointing news or information. DUBNER: Mmm. DUBNER: Okay, so how do you figure this out? Would you rather questions – Everyone loves a good would you rather question and we’ve got plenty! Not every question IS a great question and in fact some are emphatically NOT great. But I remember you just saying, “You know, that’s a really good question.” And something to the effect of, “I wish I’d thought of that while doing my research, because it might be right, it might be wrong but it certainly would have broadened my thinking on this.” So that, I remember, is where I first heard it from you. And here’s why you’re wrong. I don’t know who. His company is called Clarity Media Group, and he wrote a book called Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time. I’m a linguist and I write for Mental Floss and The Week. "That's a good question." So, uh…, DUBNER: Yeah, that’s a good question so that’s one…. Stop handing out only the negative feedback. Topics to talk about – Lots of topics to get a conversation going. So it wasn’t too common over there. So you say, “Ah yes, the argument is, the point is.” And you can do that, lay out these little pebbles when the discussion actually isn’t going that way, but you give the illusion that this is what’s happening. And here’s why I’m right.” Because that’s what you see so much in politics, right? Fools seldom differ/small minds rarely differ is another example of an extension that puts a surprising spin on the original expression. And you want to say something on your way out, you don’t want to be rude but you have no idea what the response is. — fail to scale up into great policy? 6. Quotes are powerful because they provide us with an opportunity to stop, think, and evaluate our own lives. You ready? If you say “reebusacassafram,” the human ear will interpret that in one of a hundred different ways and they will almost certainly think that you actually said something real when you didn’t. Luke Ball. “EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.” Remember that when I punch you in the teeth. Be a no-nonsense, just-the-facts-please respondent. I’ve been schooled by the master. by speakwellpartners | Uncategorized | 2 comments. I used to make longer questions. Whether you’re making small talk at work or trying to charm your crush, talking to girls can be a little intimidating.Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. But Okrent was able to find a couple big collections of spoken-language data. How to ask the question, what I expect to get from the question. When captured well, they are short, meaningful, and … You don’t have to make a conversation serious, but make it in the moment, but let your curiosity inspire you. Smile at the questioner, nod your head seriously, and give a strong answer. Here are a few phrases that you can sprinkle into your responses to acknowledge the questioner (and to give yourself a moment to prepare your response should you need it). Being faced with two difficult choices; popular saying used to describe a dilemma. DUBNER: Now when Bill McGowan says it’s “elementary” – he means really elementary. As conversational crutches go, That's A Really Good Question (TARGQ) is magical. It is important to stay connected, interested, attentive and to listen carefully to what is being asked.  Remember, it is about them, not you. This is not to say that it is not your responsibility to respond to every question with your full attention and respect. That’s Bill McGowan. Why do many people always say "That's a good question" when they answer the question? And you know who has this tic really bad? Um, it’s not, for me, that I want them to say something that I think they’ve said before and I want them to repeat it. (He wrote a book called Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time.) But some people do use the phrase strategically. And in a world in which this can be so little fun, you’re making this fun.”. That’s a 100-million word database, which includes transcripts of everyday conversation as well as government meetings, media interviews, and so on. MCGOWAN: I think people do it because they think it accomplishes two things simultaneously: it allows them to stall for time, and it flatters the interviewer. It's overused. There is only one serious question. !”, does that imply the other questions are substandard questions ? OKRENT: It’s for keeping the good vibes going. LEVITT: Oh, that’s a good question. MCGOWAN: The bridge is what happens when the person interviewing you or asking you questions wants to go down one conversational road…, OKRENT: …you use it as a way to go from a potentially dangerous question back to your talking points, back to the point you want to make…. Nearly all of us have some kind of linguistic tic, some go-to phrase that we probably don’t even know we use. Permalink: That's not true.Well, maybe. One of them is “look.”, OBAMA: Well, look, you know, I think Bill, the nature of being President is that you’re always…, MCGOWAN: And the “look” means, he’s trying to convey it as “let me be frank with you.” Or the other word he uses is…, OBAMA: Listen, as I think some of you saw as I was out on the campaign trail…. Well, maybe. Her: "Not much." In other words, are you trying to, like a prosecutor, get the answer to a question that you sort of know already? 200 Icebreaker questions – Loads of great questions to get the conversation going. And you have a little bit of that yourself. She says it like ALL the time! Cry Over Spilled Milk You might want to write it down. Maybe I’m the inventor of “That’s a great question.”. Okay, and where does Arika Okrent think this habit has come from? hide. Say nothing. training – for CEO’s, athletes, artists, even the best men at weddings. ... It’s never used, for example, when male commentators opine on how men are better drivers than women, or men are great … You say “reebusacassafram.” Lemme hear you say that. The whole time, it was back-to-back-to-back-to-back interviews and Q&A sessions. In a recent Wall Street Journal column, Kessler wrote about a trick he admires, used by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs at board meetings. What about leading questions? At least this lets your partner know you heard him or her, and that you are actively thinking about the question rather than just automatically popping out with "I dunno." Sometimes you will need to rephrase the question back to the questioner to ensure that everyone in the audience understood or heard the question asked. One, just in normal conversation, I mean be genuinely curious. Saying “like” once in a while is ok, but saying it too much can distract your listener and prevent you from sounding articulate. Another variation of this is Great minds think alike, small minds rarely differ. McGowan says that some people say “that’s a great question” to serve as what’s called a bridge. It's used often times as a means of deflecting a truer, more honest answer. However, there are instances in which what are framed as questions should end with other punctuation, and occasionally, a statement might be followed by a question mark. If you know of some funny questions and Cortana replies that are not on the list, please share them in the comments section below. Explanation of the English phrase "That's a good question. So somehow the times that we’ve gone on the “Charlie Rose” show. 446). “We Get All Our Great Stuff from Europe — Including Witch Hunting.” (Ep. The media coach Bill McGowan thinks that people should stop saying “That’s a great question.” He thinks it’s nothing more than cheap flattery or a stall for time. Say,  “Thank You” or “Yes” or “OK.” This shows that you have heard, understood and are in agreement with the need to answer. OKRENT: I speak about six at at a faking-it level. And most of the instances were interviews on CNN or NPR or different one-on-one interview situations where there was an expert being interviewed about something. I think about that a lot. OKRENT: Any phrase like that, they start somewhere and then people pick up on it, people start using it sincerely, and if it works well, it starts to become a crutch or a tic, and then people start to notice it, and they start to hate it and complain about it. Carrie: Sandy was one of ours murdered by one of theirs. Would you continue to do this or would you stop it? Saying "That's a good question" is a conscious act that takes up brain power they supposedly need to come up with an answer to your question! 10. Stephen J. DUBNER: And you seem to think that when it comes to what makes a good question, absolutely no topic is off-limits, wouldn’t you say? Camus clearly got up on the wrong side of bed, and Robbins must have forgotten to set the alarm. DUBNER: That, of course, is Charlie Rose. Levitt, you’ve taught there quite a while now, haven’t you? Tom Robbins wrote that the only serious question is whether time has a beginning and an end. Like I could see you using this a lot. Thank you for this. Charlie, thank you so much. – they aren’t really all that great. The next governor could stop that, but I think that's a great question to ask the next gubernatorial candidate. A loaded question or complex question is a question that contains a controversial assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt).. And, I was raised by a single mom…. What are you actually saying? Has it really been on the rise? Lead 100 Things Ridiculously Unprofessional People Can't Stop Saying Others judge you by what you say -- even when you don't realize it. LEVITT: I have been completely stunned because the way he asks questions and what he says, end up being super interesting and fun and getting me to say things I never would have said to anyone else…. You can’t look for it in Google Books or something because people don’t normally write this phrase. 8. I am confused. Steven LEVITT: You know, that’s a great question. Who decided that during the Q&A portion of a presentation the automatic response to any question should be, “Great Question!”?  In the last few months, I have noticed presenters defaulting consistently to this phrase. OKRENT: One of them is the British National Corpus. Right. Whether it’s drama, action or comedy, this collection of famous quotes from movies can be appreciated by any lover of cinema. In other words, as Arika Okrent sees things, it’s linguistic B.S. DUBNER: So, Levitt, do you have any recollection of saying that same phrase about 150 times. Find out if one of your favorites made the list in our roundup of these famous, clever & memorable film quotes. Are you asking me a question? And I’ve noticed a trend…, [SFX: MONTAGE OF PEOPLE ON FREAKONOMICS RADIO SAYING “THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION]. So really, this saying cautions us that it isn't necessarily a great thing if two people think alike. And I know where I caught it: I caught it from Steve Levitt. ROSE: I do, I mean, it would be clearly naïve of me to say that I don’t think about the craft of the question. All contents © 2021 Freakonomics, LLC. As an Amazon Associate, Freakonomics may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links on this site. Take a beat. Stop saying “doubt.” That’s now how that word is used. MCGOWAN: … “You know, that’s a really good question” is the most elementary bridge possible. Is it a kind of manner or politeness? He does media and P.R. Saul: Something's always going on. Besides the entertainment value they bring, movies also help create awareness about […] Every movie has a quote that stays with you. So what, exactly, is saying “That’s a great question” meant to accomplish? Immediately. You know who Steve Levitt is, don’t you? I beg of you, stop saying, "With that being said!" McGowan too has noticed that the phrase has spread like mold, and is ready for it to die: “I believe that saying ‘that’s a really good question’ is … And so I think that’s one very strong piece of saying, “It’s a great question,” is really just acknowledgement that someone who’s sort of in the background is actually doing something that’s cool or interesting or challenging. But “look” and “listen” are not the only bridges used by President Obama. Normal convo for us: Me: "Hey, whats up?" By signing up for our ebook, you agree to receive periodic emails from Speakwell Partners. Last May, when Levitt and I published Think Like a Freak, we went on a long book tour, first in the U.S. and then in the U.K. [MUSIC: Pearl Django, “New Metropolitan Swing”]. And then I took a look at the Corpus of Contemporary American English and there it was over a thousand times. Her: "Thats what she said!" Just answer the question. ROSE: Well, let me do something first. DUBNER: Take us a little further into that. That's a huge fucking deal. “How was your day” is a particularly useless question, as it asks for a judgment of […] Topics to talk about – Lots of topics to get a conversation going. A discussion of exceptions to basic use of the question … They need to stop thinking about grabbing/hitting/drumming to get their brain around the new question, which can be a really useful circuit-breaker for the unhelpful behaviour. In the a.m., he can be found at CBS “This Morning,” along with Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell. DUBNER: Good. 9. Its funny sometimes, but now its not funny at all cause she says it so much. Learn how your comment data is processed. MCGOWAN: I believe that saying “that’s a really good question” is about as outdated a tic or a strategy as telling people to envision the audience in their underwear. You are the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. This is a time when HOW you respond and listen says as much as the actual words that come out of your mouth, ie. And that will help. Steve Levitt sees another use. ROSE: But it…I would say that because that is the right question. 11. open body language, eye contact, energetic interest in the people asking you questions. is so overused at this point I think it's officially lost it's meaning and we can universally lay that opener to rest. And can a new breed of “implementation... We’ve collected some of our favorite moments from People I (Mostly) Admire, the latest show from the Freakonomics Radio Network. If you're really flummoxed, beg your conversation partner's pardon by saying something like, "You know what - I don't think I ever really thought about it until now." 100% Upvoted. So I can go for awhile and have you convinced until you bring up something I’ve never talked about before and then it all falls apart. DUBNER: You know, it strikes me hearing you talk, I care a lot because I do interviews. After my eureka moment, I decided I wouldn’t answer the knee-jerk why’s anymore. NPR: In the House and the Senate, they both say they want to pass a bill by next week. 5. But it’s like there’s a verbal tic going around. Who is Right? OKRENT: It’s kind of hard to measure that because it’s hard to find a corpus of data that will show spoken language over time that way. That’s it. Before she decided to become a poker pro, Maria Konnikova didn’t know how many cards are in a deck. DUBNER: Wow, that’s a really, really good and really hard question. OKRENT: I started looking into it. ). You’re asking good questions, I’m giving good answers. so if someone is told “Great question !! What I want them to do is surprise me with an answer. Stop multi-tasking when someone asks you a question. © 2021 Speakwell Partners | All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Contact. “Thank you for asking that, I am sure this question is on other people’s minds as well.”. MCGOWAN: … “listen.” And whenever you hear “look” or “listen” come out of the President’s mouth that means he is no longer answering your question, he is answering his question. [MUSIC: Seks Bomba, “She Had Her Suspicions” (from Thanks and Goodnight)]. Try to avoid misusing the word "like" when making approximations, or when you are quoting someone. I think about that a lot. OKRENT: … “that’s a good question” is one of the phrases that allows you to do that. MCGOWAN: … you don’t know anything about what lies in that road, or you don’t want to talk about that subject, you have a different conversational road you wanna go down, so you need a bridge to get from one road to the other…. 'Who, what, where, why, when, and how!' STOP SAYING “HOW WAS YOUR DAY?” AND SAY THESE 10 THINGS INSTEAD This article was first published at www.thepreparedenvironment.com on May 11, 2016 As a Montessori parent, figuring out what your child did all day can be particularly challenging. Inclusion or exclusion of a question mark is usually a straightforward matter. NPR: Does this bump hold up, do you think? please just - stop! But I learned, and now I will do better. LEVITT: I like to try to in everything in life try to reward the people around me and acknowledge when they say funny things or smart things or they look good or act kind or things like that. MCGOWAN: I did a training for a non-profit organization and I had to role-play as the interviewer with five or six of them, and there was one gentleman who sat in the chair and he started every single answer with “that’s a really good question.” Even when I asked him, “So, how long you been with this organization?” “You know, Bill, that’s a really good question.” And I had to stop him and say, “no, it’s actually not a good question, that’s a really terrible question, it’s just a conversation starter,” and he saw the absurdity of starting his answer with that. And I think of just our own experiences. share. Have you ever been in an open Q&A in a certain event full of people, where the host says, now please make sure … Especially if they’re very low cost to me, I like to do nice things that don’t cost me anything, but are good to other people. CNN: Well, you know it’s a good question, John…. The big question: what happens if they don’t? You get the question. February 19, 2016 by Liza Graves. Kensi: That's not true. “Hey, that’s a great question!” I’ve heard this over and over and over the last several years – and not just on our show. We needed professional help. Asking great questions, The Magic Phrase to Use With Kids Asking Why. “I LITERALLY DIED FROM LAUGHING SO HARD!” Anyone that involves using the word literally in a non-literal fashion should be beaten. And my point to them is, no, you should ask them. The best scientists and explorers have the attributes of kids! 5. Boo hoo!!! [MUSIC: Crytzer’s Blue Rhythm Band, “Rachin’ in Rhythm” (from Chasin’ The Blues)]. Do you ever have a circumstance where you’re interacting with someone, maybe kind of in passing and they say something to you and you don’t quite catch it or they say something to you that you don’t want to have heard but you kind of need to say something. 7. To go deeper, wider, more interesting than they have before. Did you know that your “One Word” for 2021 could dramatically increase your effectiveness in the coming year?. It’s free, it’s easy – on iTunes or wherever else you download your podcasts – and four out of five economists surveyed recommend the Freakonomics podcast for their patients who listen to podcasts. The current “filler of space” response when asked a question seems to be, “That’s a great question!”. Bill MCGOWAN: I think it’s still on the rise. But the more we thought about it, there’s no magic at all! Andy Kessler is a former hedge-fund manager who now writes about entrepreneurship. LEVITT: I’m sure I stole it from somebody, but I can’t pin my finger on who that particular genius would have been. To respond that it is “great” is to insult your own and the rest of the audience’s intelligence. I know what you're doing. 8. I mean…], LEVITT: … And it’s an incredible gift. Required fields are marked *. If you are in a meeting and you keep saying "right" after every phrase, as Mark Zuckerberg did during a recent Congressional hearing, you're not helping. )], We’ve been doing this show for a while now. One great result of this kind of communication technique is that you’re giving the child something else to think about. At night, the show is simply called “Charlie Rose.” He has interviewed more people – especially more smart people – than anyone I know of. DUBNER: I like it a lot. Stop Saying "Great Question" ... level of two out of the three above, before using your words, think long and hard about answering with the following: Great question! You know, I do sort of what you do, but for most people listening to this, there are gonna be a million people or so who hear you talking about this and they don’t do interviews, typically, but I wonder, Charlie, if you think what you’re describing in how you think about a question can be generalizable for any person in not doing an interview, per se, but just having a conversation with another person, whether it’s a friend, family member, or stranger. Also let us know if a command no longer works. And here’s a question for you: if you do not subscribe to Freakonomics Radio, don’t you think you should? Often used to stall for time. It keeps a good feeling going. It’s actually somewhat fun to be interviewed and to answer questions. So as a general rule, I’ve adopted, especially since I’ve gotten older, to try to do really nice things to people as much as I can. ROSE: I think they’re trying to flatter me most of the time.