Probably a misobservation again, but here goes....
What happened to the basic skill of asking questions? In the last decade or so, I've noticed a lot of completely useless questions. Poor questions can get especially dramatic in the context of a graphics forum,
but it's the same basic problem in verbal situations like callers on Money-Talk radio shows, or people asking the bus driver where the bus goes.
Often the trouble is what might be called 'coyness', where the questioner is trying to keep his actual purposes hidden while finding how to do something or how to get somewhere. When you hear a sentence starting with "Let's say" or "For example", it's probably going to get coy.
The problem with coyness is that your example or metaphor often includes a bad assumption, a bad connection between what you want and what you say. You don't know how to do X, therefore you especially
don't know how to form good metaphors or examples about doing X.
In the bus context, you're trying to reach the DSHS (Welfare) office at Ash and Boone, so you ask the driver if this bus goes to Cannon Park which is nearby. Well, the bus that gets close to Cannon Park might not** go anywhere near DSHS. You've only assumed
that it has to go that way.
I didn't observe this 'coyness' problem in earlier decades. When I was teaching electronics, I often answered incomplete
questions that showed several stages of ignorance, but the question never included a poorly constructed example that had to be disassembled
first. I could always start from the question itself and build the student's knowledge up to the necessary point.
Is this semi-competent self-protective attitude a consequence of the web's deep intrusiveness? Habits acquired from watching lawyer shows on TV? I don't know.
You could state a rule of thumb: Examples belong in answers, not in questions.
= = = = =
**Footnote: I didn't look it up on the route maps first. Actually the bus that goes to Cannon Park does
pass right by DSHS, which means I unwittingly created a bad example of a bad example,
thus proving the main point neatly. If you don't know the fact, you aren't going to create good examples about the fact.