History Main / NonAnswer

4th May '17 10:07:21 AM StevieC
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* These are often a rather intense BerserkButton for people on the autistic spectrum, ''especially'' if given when an autistic person asks how long they should be prepared to wait.
3rd Apr '17 6:51:21 PM TheWanderer
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* Lampshaded several times in ''Series/BabylonFive'', possibly due to the many times it was played straight, what with the Vorlons, and the Minbari, and Lorien...
-->'''Ta'lon''': "That was a stirring reply, G'Kar. However, while all answers are replies, not all replies are answers."

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* Lampshaded several times in ''Series/BabylonFive'', possibly due As ''Series/BabylonFive'' prominently featured interstellar politics and intrigue, not to the many times it mention multiple cryptic alien races, mystics, prophets, and various [[MagnificentBastard magnificent]] and [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative bastards]] with competing agendas and gambits, this was often played straight, and frequently lampshaded. A few examples:
** G'Kar tells Ta'lon that he has had a mind opening revelation. Ta'lon asks him
what with sort of revelation. The following conversation occurs:
--->'''G'Kar:''' A most profound and substantial one, Ta'Lon. The kind of revelation that transforms your mind, your soul, your heart-even your flesh-so that you are a new creature, reborn in
the Vorlons, and the Minbari, and Lorien...
-->'''Ta'lon''': "That
instant of understanding.
--->'''Ta'lon''': That
was a stirring reply, G'Kar. However, while all answers are replies, not all replies are answers." You did not answer the question I asked.



-->'''Sherdian''': I ''really'' hate it when you do that.\\

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-->'''Sherdian''': --->'''Sherdian''': I ''really'' hate it when you do that.\\


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** Perhaps the greatest non-answer on the show happened when Sheridan met the man who was, essentially, the highest ranking MouthOfSauron for the Shadows. Sheridan tries to ask a simple question, and gets a mind bending reply that actually succeeds in throwing Sheridan off and making him forget the question he originally asked.
--->'''Sheridan:''' Who are you?\\
'''Justin:''' Now, that's really not important...\\
'''Sheridan:''' ''Who are you?''\\
'''Justin:''' Who decides that the workday is from 9 to 5 instead of 11 to 4? Who decides that the hemlines will be below the knee this year, and short again next year? Who draws up the borders, controls the currency, handles all of the decisions that happen transparently around us?\\
'''Sheridan:''' (incredulous and confused) I don't know.\\
'''Justin:''' Ah. I'm with them. Same group, different department. Think of me as a sort of middle man. And the name is Justin.
1st Apr '17 9:23:05 PM DustSnitch
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** Similarly, some view "Thou sayest it," the answer {{Jesus}} gives to Pilate's question "Art thou king of the Jews?", as a Non-Answer. Does Jesus mean "Yep, you said it; you got that right," or "That's what ''you'' say; ''I'' never made that claim"? (''Music/JesusChristSuperstar'' understands it in the latter sense.). However, this does have to be weighed against his other statements (that he existed before Abraham, that seeing him is the same as seeing God, that he could forgive sins, that he is the judge, that he can grant eternal life etc.)

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** Similarly, some view "Thou sayest it," the answer {{Jesus}} UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} gives to Pilate's question "Art thou king of the Jews?", as a Non-Answer. Does Jesus mean "Yep, you said it; you got that right," or "That's what ''you'' say; ''I'' never made that claim"? (''Music/JesusChristSuperstar'' understands it in the latter sense.). However, this does have to be weighed against his other statements (that he existed before Abraham, that seeing him is the same as seeing God, that he could forgive sins, that he is the judge, that he can grant eternal life etc.)
2nd Feb '17 7:43:19 PM eowynjedi
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* In the second ''Series/HoratioHornblower'' telefilm, Captain Pellew (AFatherToHisMen) and Captain Foster (a FearlessFool) have a terse exchange over Foster's battle of the popgun supply ship vs. Spanish frigate. After Pellew declines to answer Foster's inappropriate and offensive inquiry of whether Pellew would have surrendered, Foster tosses the question to Hornblower. Though Hornblower is in awe of Foster, he has great respect for his captain and tries "I am pleased the Spanish have been deprived of our supplies." It doesn't work--Foster takes it as vindication and Pellew quits the room.
1st Jan '17 5:46:24 AM KatanaCat
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''Radio/TheRickyGervaisShow'': When Karl is explaining his first film pitch.

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* ''Radio/TheRickyGervaisShow'': When Karl is explaining his first film pitch.



''Deep Trouble'': HMS ''Goliath'' has just accidentally torpedoed the USS ''Nimitz'', and reporters aboard the Goliath wonder what's going on.

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* ''Deep Trouble'': HMS ''Goliath'' has just accidentally torpedoed the USS ''Nimitz'', and reporters aboard the Goliath wonder what's going on.
21st Dec '16 2:32:51 PM Xtifr
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* ''{{Pasila}}'' has an example of a ridiculously loaded question being deflated with a simple answer that's... well...

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* ''{{Pasila}}'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Pasila}}'' has an example of a ridiculously loaded question being deflated with a simple answer that's... well...
25th Nov '16 3:30:39 AM Vir
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* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment'', Homer is using hollow bowling balls to smuggle illicit beer.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''Homer "Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment'', the 18th Amendment", Homer is using hollow bowling balls to smuggle illicit beer.



--> '''Juhani Kontiovaara:''' What the hell are you blaming the media for? Are you menstruating or do you simply want to live in [[{{Ruritania}} Albania]]?
--> '''The male interviewee:''' Yes.

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--> '''Juhani -->'''Juhani Kontiovaara:''' What the hell are you blaming the media for? Are you menstruating or do you simply want to live in [[{{Ruritania}} Albania]]?
--> '''The -->'''The male interviewee:''' Yes.
25th Nov '16 3:29:26 AM Vir
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The NonAnswer is a response to a question that is so generic or vague that it's not really an answer at all. Usually, not only is the answer very vague, it is very ''[[CaptainObvious obvious]]'' as well. This may be because there is no better answer, or the askee simply doesn't want to answer the question. Other times, the askee is bluntly trying to redirect the questioner's attention to what they consider to be the more important consideration. For instance, "because I said so" may not be considered an answer by a junior officer, yet the senior officer may be trying to reinforce the importance of following orders.

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The NonAnswer Non-Answer is a response to a question that is so generic or vague that it's not really an answer at all. Usually, not only is the answer very vague, it is very ''[[CaptainObvious obvious]]'' as well. This may be because there is no better answer, or the askee simply doesn't want to answer the question. Other times, the askee is bluntly trying to redirect the questioner's attention to what they consider to be the more important consideration. For instance, "because I said so" may not be considered an answer by a junior officer, yet the senior officer may be trying to reinforce the importance of following orders.



** Karen Armstrong claims that the Biblical "I am that I am" is a NonAnswer. However, monotheists understand this as an expression of the idea that God exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any concept, force, or entity.
** Similarly, some view "Thou sayest it," the answer {{Jesus}} gives to Pilate's question "Art thou king of the Jews?", as a NonAnswer. Does Jesus mean "Yep, you said it; you got that right," or "That's what ''you'' say; ''I'' never made that claim"? (''Music/JesusChristSuperstar'' understands it in the latter sense.). However, this does have to be weighed against his other statements (that he existed before Abraham, that seeing him is the same as seeing God, that he could forgive sins, that he is the judge, that he can grant eternal life etc.)
** "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (as an answer to whether the Jewish people should pay taxes to the Romans) is considered by some as a NonAnswer. The questioners were trying to trap Jesus into making a statement either way, at which point they would either declare him to be a Roman sympathizer to the Jews, or declare him to be a Judean revolutionary to the Romans. A more detailed examination reveals a deeper meaning (especially noting his question regarding whose image is on the coin that's used to pay the tax). Thus: It is fine to pay taxes (i.e. render the coin unto Caesar, since it has his image on it), but we should devote our whole lives to God (since we are made in God's image). Even Jesus' enemies were impressed at how he avoided that rhetorical trap.

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** Karen Armstrong claims that the Biblical "I am that I am" is a NonAnswer.Non-Answer. However, monotheists understand this as an expression of the idea that God exists by himself for himself, and is the uncreated Creator who is independent of any concept, force, or entity.
** Similarly, some view "Thou sayest it," the answer {{Jesus}} gives to Pilate's question "Art thou king of the Jews?", as a NonAnswer.Non-Answer. Does Jesus mean "Yep, you said it; you got that right," or "That's what ''you'' say; ''I'' never made that claim"? (''Music/JesusChristSuperstar'' understands it in the latter sense.). However, this does have to be weighed against his other statements (that he existed before Abraham, that seeing him is the same as seeing God, that he could forgive sins, that he is the judge, that he can grant eternal life etc.)
** "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (as an answer to whether the Jewish people should pay taxes to the Romans) is considered by some as a NonAnswer.Non-Answer. The questioners were trying to trap Jesus into making a statement either way, at which point they would either declare him to be a Roman sympathizer to the Jews, or declare him to be a Judean revolutionary to the Romans. A more detailed examination reveals a deeper meaning (especially noting his question regarding whose image is on the coin that's used to pay the tax). Thus: It is fine to pay taxes (i.e. render the coin unto Caesar, since it has his image on it), but we should devote our whole lives to God (since we are made in God's image). Even Jesus' enemies were impressed at how he avoided that rhetorical trap.



* A classic Zen-Buddhist answer to the Confucian ArmorPiercingQuestion[[note]] Every iteration/wave of Confucianism has been very much anti-religion and anti-claptrap, being focused on strict law-based governance and morality rather than wishy-washy feelings and philosophy. Consequently, Confucianism has gotten along about as well with Daoism (a wishy-washy vaguely spiritualistic and pantheistic religion akin to Hinduism, Shinto, and classic/original European Paganism) and Chinese-style Buddhism as you'd expect.[[/note]] (since ''everyone'', even the lowest peasants, seem to have 'aspects of the The Buddha's nature' as far as all these newfangled prayer-mongerers are concerned) "Do ''dogs'' have Buddha-nature too?" The Buddhist answer Wú or Mu, in Classical Chinese and Japanese respectively, is a cross between a NonAnswer and a MathematiciansAnswer. In Classical Chinese 'wú' is a 'negator-of-existence', i.e. there is no or there is nothing of whatever noun comes after it in the sentence... but it's a one-word answer, and it's not clear whether 'wú' refers to the question or the answer (it ''does not'' refer to the possession of Buddha-nature because it's a noun-negator, not a verb-negator). The implication is that [[StealthInsult it doesn't matter because both the question and the answer are meaningless]]. Consequently the reply is often translated as "It's meaningless". A philosophical STFU to an ArmorPiercingQuestion. TheOtherWiki has a better discussion for those interested.
** It's also allegedly the ononomatopoeia in Chinese for the sound of a dog's bark, which, if true, injects a pleasant dash of JustForPun into the NonAnswer.

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* A classic Zen-Buddhist answer to the Confucian ArmorPiercingQuestion[[note]] Every iteration/wave of Confucianism has been very much anti-religion and anti-claptrap, being focused on strict law-based governance and morality rather than wishy-washy feelings and philosophy. Consequently, Confucianism has gotten along about as well with Daoism (a wishy-washy vaguely spiritualistic and pantheistic religion akin to Hinduism, Shinto, and classic/original European Paganism) and Chinese-style Buddhism as you'd expect.[[/note]] (since ''everyone'', even the lowest peasants, seem to have 'aspects of the The Buddha's nature' as far as all these newfangled prayer-mongerers are concerned) "Do ''dogs'' have Buddha-nature too?" The Buddhist answer Wú or Mu, in Classical Chinese and Japanese respectively, is a cross between a NonAnswer Non-Answer and a MathematiciansAnswer. In Classical Chinese 'wú' is a 'negator-of-existence', i.e. there is no or there is nothing of whatever noun comes after it in the sentence... but it's a one-word answer, and it's not clear whether 'wú' refers to the question or the answer (it ''does not'' refer to the possession of Buddha-nature because it's a noun-negator, not a verb-negator). The implication is that [[StealthInsult it doesn't matter because both the question and the answer are meaningless]]. Consequently the reply is often translated as "It's meaningless". A philosophical STFU to an ArmorPiercingQuestion. TheOtherWiki has a better discussion for those interested.
** It's also allegedly the ononomatopoeia in Chinese for the sound of a dog's bark, which, if true, injects a pleasant dash of JustForPun into the NonAnswer.Non-Answer.



* The answer "Later" or "In a while" is an ''especially'' egregious NonAnswer when responding to a question asking "When?" about something, ''especially'' when the question is being asked in order to weigh whether to stand and wait or to go and do something more productive while waiting which might only be a good idea if the "while" is a specific (and long) timespan, which a vague NonAnswer of "a while" does '''less''' than nothing to clarify.

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* The answer "Later" or "In a while" is an ''especially'' egregious NonAnswer Non-Answer when responding to a question asking "When?" about something, ''especially'' when the question is being asked in order to weigh whether to stand and wait or to go and do something more productive while waiting which might only be a good idea if the "while" is a specific (and long) timespan, which a vague NonAnswer Non-Answer of "a while" does '''less''' than nothing to clarify.
8th Oct '16 4:25:03 PM DustSnitch
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* ''Creator/ThisIsIt'':

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* ''Creator/ThisIsIt'':''WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared'':
5th Oct '16 3:34:53 PM JenBurdoo
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''Deep Trouble'': HMS ''Goliath'' has just accidentally torpedoed the USS ''Nimitz'', and reporters aboard the Goliath wonder what's going on.
-->'''Commander Fairbanks:''' Right, any questions?
-->'''Dunn:''' Yeah. Harry Dunn, ''Daily Mail''. What it is, is about twenty-five minutes ago, me and Phil Baines of the ''Observer'' --
-->'''Baines:''' Hello.
-->'''Dunn:''' -- we were getting some coffee and we heard two very loud sounds, like rockets, followed by this explosion thing, and we were told this wasn't supposed to be a live-firing exercise, can you confirm that?
-->'''Captain Wade:''' I can confirm that this wasn't supposed to be a live-firing exercise. Next!
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.NonAnswer