Feeds

What are tag questions?

Right, sure...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Also in this week's column:

What are tag questions?

We know that "um", "er", and "ah" are called fillers and are used in conversations to keep the listener listening while the speaker searches for the next meaningful thing to say.

Although "um", "er", and "ah" are not meaningful sounds (phonemes), meaningful sounds (morphemes), words, and entire phrases can function as fillers. Examples are "right", "sure", "you know", and "I mean".

Tag questions are fillers in the form of a single word or a phrase asking agreement. Perhaps the most notable example of this these days is the English tag question "innit?" In actuality, this is a contraction of "isn't it?"

Many in the UK, mostly young people and particularly in London, are known to end nearly every sentence with "innit?" And the trend seems to be to drop altogether the intonation that indicates a sentence that asks a question (interrogative) and make it into a sentence that sets forth or provides an explanation (declarative).

Human language continually changes, innit.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.