“Yes! I will do. But…”

For those who prefer closed-ended questions, the second part of the answer causes problems. Certain questions are expected to be answered yes or no. Not yes and no.

That’s not how the majority of population in this world thinks. The answer can be yes and no. And it is not a conditional yes. Even after we include all the conditions to the question, it is possible to get an answer which is neither yes nor no. And that is usually a no, which sounds like yes. It is contradictory. Well, almost contradictory!

In linguistics the yes/no questions are known as polar questions. Logically speaking, it is known as exclusive disjunction. It can be either one or zero, not one and zero. If your philosophy and upbringing are based on mathematical logic, it is difficult to live in the gray area between one and zero. And the yes-sounding-no will puzzle you. Those who are fine with many-valued logic, which has answers such as yes, no, unknown, i-do-not-like-that-question will be able to better live with such situations.

However, if we are ready to accept the no, and explore the gray areas towards yes, there could be a solution, an answer, a state where yes and no do not matter, where a yes-sounding-no would mean a no-sounding-yes, and even better - a resounding yes.