The top ten: Questions to which the answer is 'no'

 

I have a strange hobby: collecting headlines in the form of questions to which the author or publisher implies that the answer is yes when anyone with any sense knows it is no. I published a book of QTWTAIN last year and have continued to compile them since. Here are 10 of the best new ones spotted over the past year.

1. 'Is China more democratic than the West?' Martin Jacques, BBC News Magazine, 2 November 2012. Quickly changed to: "Is China more legitimate than the West?"

2. 'Could Hitler come to power today?' Unexpectedly asked by The Economist, 25 June 2013. It meant in Germany, not here.

3. 'Is Spongebob Squarepants the new Che Guevara?' Asked by Vice, 15 January 2013, about T-shirts seen among Egypt's democracy protesters.

4. 'Could Abu Qatada Trigger a Snap General Election?' Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail, 27 April 2013.

5. 'Are Militant Atheists Using Chemtrails to Poison the Angels in Heaven?' Asked by a poster in a forum on Elite Trader, a website for investors, on 13 July 2013.

6. 'Did blowing into Nintendo cartridges really help?' Asked by Chris Higgins, at the Mental Floss website, 24 September 2012. (Actually, he says the answer is no, but it is a great question.)

7. 'If everybody in the US drove west, could we temporarily halt continental drift?' Asked by a contributor to the website What If?, 16 April 2013.

8. 'Are we literally starving students into submission?' Barbara Ellen, The Observer, 25 November 2012. Fewer students turned up for a demo than she thought should have done.

9. 'Is this proof the Virgin Queen was an imposter in drag' Daily Mail, 9 June 2013. Joyously at odds with 2006 headline, "The proof the Virgin Queen had a secret love child?"

10. 'Has the whole QTWTAIN thing run its course yet?' Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP, on Twitter, 18 April 2013. We all know the answer to that one.

Next week: Douglas Adam quotations

Coming soon: The original titles for novels, starting with 'Catch-18'. Send your suggestions (by 10 September), and ideas for future Top 10s, to top10@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

Ashdown Group: .NET Developer : ASP.NET , C# , MVC , web development

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits - see advert: Ashdown Group: .N...

Guru Careers: 3D Package Designer / 3D Designer

£25 - 30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an exceptional 3D Package Designer / 3...

Guru Careers: Interior Designer

£Competitive: Guru Careers: We are seeking a strong Middleweight / Senior Inte...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing