Is the glass half empty, or half full?

You are probably familiar with the age-old question, usually intended to determine whether you are the type to see things in a positive or negative light. The traditional answers are “half empty” (you are are a pessimist) or “half full” (you are an optimist). However, I find these traditional interpretations a bit too simplistic for the complexity of personality types and moods that individuals exhibit. Or that I exhibit on a given day. So I offer to you…

Alternative Answers to the Question
“Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?”

  1. Probably.
  2. Who drank half my drink?
  3. The glass is half full. But what is all that crud floating around in there?
  4. The glass is half full of ice so they can rip you off when you buy a soda.
  5. I think it was half full, but I spilled it. On your couch.
  6. I’ll take mine straight from the bottle.
  7. That’s no glass, that’s a sippy cup.
  8. Are you trying to poison me?
  9. The glass is cracked.
  10. There is no glass.


12 thoughts on “Is the glass half empty, or half full?

  1. I’d go with…
    1. “Leave me alone or i’ll empty this glass on your head.”
    2. “George Bush drank it.”
    3. “I don’t remember emptying my urine bag?”

  2. morethananelectrician-
    1. Ha, ha.
    2. Hee, hee.
    3. Ew, oof.

    It does indeed.

    Or no. (I sometimes enjoy answering “either/or” questions with “yes” or “no.” As in “did she have a boy or a girl?” “Yes!”)

    Philosphical, but also derivative of a Matrix quote. So I can’t take credit.

    Beware the mysterious liquids.

    Yes, sometimes half a glass is all you need.

    Thanks! A half-full comment, if I ever read one.

    Damn straight there ain’t.

  3. Seriously though, it is more complicated than whether or not the glass is merely half full/empty. It’s more to do with whether the glass was in the process of being filled, or emptied that determines what I’d say.

    So, if I’m drinking a glass of water, when I get to half way, it’s half empty, but when I’m filling it up, the same point would be half full.

    Oh, and I fully support answering either/or questions with a yes or a no. “Are you hungry or not?” “Yes. I am either hungry, or I am not.”

  4. Jangari-
    You bring up some interesting points. I tend to think of the glass in question (or at least, in the question) as being encountered in its half full/empty state, without knowledge of the processes. But you are right about the relevance of whether the glass is being filled or emptied. It reminds me a bit of those double-object verbs that can take direct objects with different theta roles: eg. load the wagon (with hay) vs. load the hay (onto the wagon).

    Perhaps you are a very large glass?

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