a question “where all the possible replies have potentially negative consequences, but where nevertheless a reply is still expected”. (Bull & Wells, 2012: 38)
Also known as
communicative avoidance–avoidance conflict
This was the first question asked by Jeremy Paxman when he interviewed Tony Blair in 2005. This is a conflictual question because an affirmative answer might be a sign of weakness in the Prime Minister, a negative answer might be a sign of arrogance.
JP: Tony Blair. Prime Minister, is there anything you would like to apologise for?
Bull, P. & Wells, P. (2012) Adversarial discourse in Prime Minister’s questions. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 31(1), 30-48