Meaningless Question

Description: Asking a question that cannot be answered with any sort of rational meaning. This is the textual equivalent of dividing by zero.

Example #1:

What’s north of the North Pole?

Explanation: The North Pole is the most northern point of the space in which we measure direction using the north, south, east, west coordinates. “North” of the North Pole is meaningless.

Example #2:

What happened before time?

Explanation: “Before” is a term related to a place in time. Without time, this concept is meaningless.

Example #3:

How many angels can you fit on a head of a pin?

Explanation: Angels are said to be ghost-like in that they don’t take up space. “Fit” is a word that refers to space. The question is meaningless.


Yngve, V., & Wasik, Z. (2006). Hard-Science Linguistics. A&C Black.

Questions about this fallacy? Ask our community!

Bo's Book Bundle

Get all EIGHT of Bo's printed books, all autographed*. Save over $50!

* This offer is for residents of United States and Canada only.

Get the Book Bundle