- the ‘look how smart I am’ question, a common preening behavior at conferences, where the point is to boast a personal victory rather than build a conversation;
- the ‘look how dumb you are’ question, intended to be cruel, embarrassing, or belittling;
- the loaded question, piled high with narrow facts and fancy rhetoric to defend your current opinion.
NOTE: I wrote this entry at the request of Barry Hessenius for his second annual “what I’ve learned” blog. The question he posed the lot of us was this: “What Have You Learned? — either in the profession of arts administration, or in life generally — advice you can pass on to others” (in 300 words or less). Many inspiring responses from other contributors can be found on Barry’s Blog.