Far too often, I read, “This is a dumb question, but. . .”
Why do we do this? Is it that the answer to the question is truly obvious or could be found with the least bit of research? Or is the person asking afraid they will be chastised by others? I don’t know, but I suspect the latter is most often the case.
Sure, your questions are sometimes elementary, but that does not mean they should remain unasked. I am a big believer in doing your footwork when learning, but part of that is asking questions. Those who answer will help give you clarity, confirm your research, or point you toward good sources for further research.
Indeed, the old adage, “The only bad question is the one that isn’t asked” is largely true.
The next time you want to ask a question and are tempted to preface it with the “dumb question” disclaimer, stop and think. Unless you know you are lazy and expecting others to tell you everything without your having to lift a finger, your question is not “dumb.” Ask it!