Newbies - 'Stupid Question' or 'No such thing'

a recent new poster said:
...was always told throughout my life there no such thing as a stupid question...**
How pertinent is that to the host of new inquiries regarding "Joining the RN"?

<<"(There's) no such thing as a stupid question"
is a popular phrase that has had a long history. It suggests that the quest for knowledge includes failure, and that just because one person may know less than others they should not be afraid to ask rather than pretend they already know...>>

But, for those who believe otherwise:

<<There are stupid questions

The article Ink Out Loud: There's no such thing as a stupid question,' and other ailments lavender cures defines stupid questions as:

Those questions that have already been answered, but the asker wasn't listening or paying attention. [or wasn't even there]
  • Questions that can be answered with a scant amount of research and less than a minute of time.[1]
  • Questions of which the answer should be painfully obvious to any person with a pulse who has lived on this earth for more than a decade. [2]
...School House Diary: Reflections of a Retired Educator notes that teachers are fond of saying this phrase, and suggests that while they themselves want to call out the stupid questions, **they fall back on the adage in order to prevent the child [3] from being ridiculed [4]...>>

Fuller version at

Notes particularly apt for RR Inquirers

[1] Although a burning question from the Newbie, 'tis highly likely that the Q has been asked/answered here already - Why not try using the Search facility if you wish to avoid appearing stupid?

[2] Besides which, most RR regulars believe spoon-feeding, like nappy-changing, should have ceased fairly early into childhood. (Especially for potential Officer Candidates)

[3] For 'the child' read 'the RR Newbie'.

[4] At RR we aim not to ridicule Newbies (but be prepared for harmless banter in lieu.)


PS For the Mods. Dependent upon response this thread may be worth a Sticky, if only to be Quoted for future Newbies who turn up with the same view as the 'recent new poster'.


War Hero
Distinctly, since then you'll agree that 'cats loose amongst the pigeons' situations are now rare.

Side effect? Far fewer cats anywhere at RR and a corresponding increase in the pigeon populatiion
I'd be the first to agree that there has been a significant drop in user activity outside of the recruiting subforum over the last year or two. There's more items of Naval interest on Arrse than on here.

Possibly the fact that people are discouraged from having a go at potential recruits takes the fun out of it all for those of that disposition.

From my perspective, we've just launched an official recruiting forum on the RN website and possibly that will eventually see a migration of those pesky queries on here, leaving the void to be filled by those with service experience seeking intellectual banter (and those prospective joiners who inevitably won't believe what I tell them when using an official sounding username).

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