Feeds

What are tag questions?

Right, sure...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that PONG? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.