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'is it not the ....'

Posted by Sprock on November 04, 2003

My question is related to the use of the construct 'is it not the ...'.

I hear this most often in parliamentary debate with the phrase 'Is it not the case that ...'.

Why is the 'not' used?
Both of the phrases 'Is it the case that ...' and 'Is not the case that ...' can be answered with a Yes or No answer. So I remain confused as to why the more convoluted form is more commonly used.

Is the 'not' used just to generate a comfortable rhythm to the question?