ABSTRACT

I know a man who spreads destructive gossip merely by asking a simple question. He would whisper this question in your ear about a person mutually known: “Do you think Charlie has a drinking problem?” That is the surest way to plant the idea that Charlie has a drinking problem without saying so directly. The implication is that he has found reason to ask such a question. Whispering this question in many ears is likely to have many fingers pointing at Charlie.