4 Feb 2024 11:00

An investigation of when and why people ask loaded questions that are a proxy for something else.

  • Prologue: Host Ira Glass talks with producer Tobin Low about the question he got asked after he and his husband moved in together, and what he thinks people were really asking. (4 minutes)
  • Act One: “What do you think about Beyoncé?” and other questions that are asked a lot, raised by people on first dates. (12 minutes)
  • Act Two: When a common, seemingly innocuous question goes wildly off the rails. (13 minutes)
  • Act Three: Why are people asking me if my mother recognizes me, when it’s totally beside the point? (14 minutes)
  • Act Four: Schools ask their students the strangest essay questions sometimes. The experience of tutoring anxious teenagers through how to answer them requires a balladier, singing their lived experience to a crowd as though it were the Middle Ages. (10 minutes)

Transcripts are available at thisamericanlife.org


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