Baby Talk

Hello and welcome back to yet another week of indiscriminately untrustworthy information here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question submitted by an entity going by the name of “Patty,” though I have reason to believe that it is an assumed name. “Patty” asked:

How come people – especially myself – ask and answer questions when they talk to babies? “Are you smiling? Yes, you’re smiling. Are you a cute baby? Yes, you’re a cute baby. Are you eating? Yes, you’re eating.”

Despite Patty’s perhaps less-than-spotless credentials, this is a very pertinent question. Many, no doubt, have experienced the very phenomenon that our friend Patty describes. In so few other situations do people answer their own questions aloud so quickly, that it drives us to wonder about the reason for it.

The answer, however, is a simple one, one which sheds light on (or is pointed to by) the intrinsic nature of babies. While usually very young, all babies are exceedingly intelligent. Their minds contain multitudes, a vast sea of knowledge which the adult world cannot hope to comprehend.

Considering the inordinate intelligence of babies, it should come as no surprise that they invariably know the answer to any question that could be posed to them – indeed, in most cases, they arrive at the answer without even taking significant time for thought. In their infinite wisdom and kindness, babies wish to share this wealth of knowledge and information that they hold, particularly when we ask questions, displaying our thirst for this very knowledge.

Unfortunately, no matter how much they know within their minds, most babies at that tender age have not yet developed the facility with tongue and lips to be able to communicate through spoken language – and, due to the differences in age and culture, pantomime is of only a very limited effectiveness.

Fortunately, though, the vast knowledge of babies includes sciences beyond our imagination, such as the near-mystical (to us) art of telepathy. They can answer our questions quite simply by sending the answers directly into our heads.

However, most adults, unversed as we are in telepathy ourselves, are unable to recognize knowledge that has been sent in from an outside source. We are given to doubting ourselves, to assuming the information is merely the product of a leap in our own imaginations. So the babies prod a little more with their awesome telepathy, prompting us to speak their answers aloud so that we will hear them, and understand the information that they themselves cannot yet voice.

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Disclaimer: the above post is unapologetically false. Do not trust information predicated on the musings of spambots.

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Quick Question

Hello and welcome back to another week of friendly falsehoods and fortunate fictions here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question by the faithful and fortitudinous Tohrinha. Tohr asked:

Dear Factually Deficient, why can’t I ask questions as quickly as I like?

Questions imply answers. This blog is a perfect illustration of that fact – while it is true that I cannot publish answers without questions, it is equally true that it would be utterly valueless for me to post my readers’ questions without appending answers. The existence of a question suggests that an answer to it exists – one could even argue that asking the question calls the answer into being.

Because questions and answers are so interdependent, the inquisitive nature of a question mandates time in which to answer it. True, many – perhaps even most – questions are not answered immediately. Some questions require deep thought to be put to them, careful consideration before delivering an answer. Some questions are difficult, and coming up with an acceptable solution takes time. Some questions are simply sent in writing, by some slow delivery method which mandates a lengthy time delay between the asking of the question and the receiving of the answer.

Nevertheless, even questions which are not built to be answered immediately, by their very nature call into being an expectant pause in which the answer might make itself known. People can overcome this pause to a certain extent, forcing a series of rapid-fire questions into the air, but at a certain point, physics will catch up to them. The laws of nature reassert themselves. The air itself grows heavy and silent, preventing the questioner from speaking until the time delay for each and every question asked plays itself out, seconds ticking by in accordance with the length of each question’s appropriate answer.

When no answer is spoken in this time, it is often unnerving to those around: the oxygen around them practically quivering with its deadness, the noiseless rustle of leaves and shuffle of footsteps leaving them disoriented and deafened by the silence. But it can also be a spiritual time: a forced breather, a moment to step back from the frenetic pace of their day – and a chance to consider for themselves what the answers to these questions might be.

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Disclaimer: some information in this blog post is inaccurate. Not all questions require one to pause.