Laurel. -- I save stupid questions. Which I suppose is just a head higher than collecting stupid answers.
By definition a stupid question is one that really speaks for itself -- or should. For instance:
Two of you are in a restaurant sitting at a table for four and someone approaches, put a hand on the empty chair and says "Is someone sitting here?"
What the individual really means is, will someone be sitting here? But there are mature and immature ways to answer the question actually asked. We all remember the immature ways ("Yes, they're just invisible," etc.). Here are some mature ways.
"No there isn't and we're lesser for it." (Good line if the person asking is a looker.)
"Yes, someone is. They'll be returning shortly." (Particularly appropriate if he/she's a dog.)
You are leaving a message for someone on the telephone and you say: "Please tell him Linda Schulte called."
The inevitable response is, "Can you spell your name for me?" Sixteen years of formal education, I should hope so.
You've thrown your morning paper away. It sits in the trash can. Someone says. "Are you finished with the paper?"
No, I was just seeing what its market value was.
You're in a restaurant, someone turns and asks, "Are you using your salt and pepper?"
No, but I certainly don't want you to either.
You're standing at a bus stop and someone asks, "Are you waiting for a bus.?"
No, I've been placed here for your convenience by the MTA.
You're sitting in front of the television, a family member asks, "Are you watching this?"
No, I'm into New age transcendentalism and I'm sending a message to Shirley McLaine.
What are these people thinking?
Why don't we SAY what we mean?
Have we drifted so far away from our English-speaking roots that we can no longer tell a dependent clause from Santa Claus?
I would hope not, but then, excuse me, are you reading this paper?
Ask Linda L.S. Schulte no questions and she'll tell you no lies.