Linguistic Note on Hypothesis
The word hypothesis comes from the Greek for supposition, literally to put under, that is sub-position.
The idea is that one puts an idea under scrutiny.
Its plural is hypotheses where the last syllable is pronounced sees.
The verb hypothesize (British English: hypothesise) means to make a hypothesis, that is, to suppose.
The adjective hypothetical means having the nature of a hypothesis.
A hypothetical question is a question which relates to a situation that is supposed (or pretended) to be imaginary. One would, for example, announce that a question about to be posed is hypothetical if the questioner wishes to be believed to be at some distance from the possibility of actually being the subject of the question.
- As a purely hypothetical question, what would the fate be of a student who had been found to have cheated in his examinations?