Section 1The QUESTION MARKPages 10-13 OST164 Text Editing Applications
The Question Mark - ¶110a Use a question mark at the end of a direct question. Leave ONE space between the question mark and the start of the next sentence. Will you be able to meet us after 5 p.m.? Either way, how can we lose? Be sure to place the question mark at the end of the question. Mark Twain wrote, “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” How do you account for this entry: “Paid to E. M. Johnson, $300”?
The Question Mark - ¶110 b Use a question mark after a rhetorical question - a question to which no reply is expected. You could also use an exclamation mark for special emphasis. Who wouldn’t snap up an opportunity like that(? or !) Who came up with the idea of replacing the term e-mail with epistle (? or !) Isn’t it incredible that people could fall for a scheme like that (? or !)
The Question Mark - ¶110 b (cont’d) If the first clause of a compound sentence is a rhetorical question and the second clause is a statement, use a period to end the sentence. Why don’t you look at the attached list of tasks, and then let’s discuss which ones you would like to take on. Why not rent a house here for the summer, and then you’ll know whether this is the place where you’d like to retire.
The Question Mark - ¶111a Use a question mark at the end of an elliptical (condensed) question – a word or phrase that represents a complete question. Marion tells me that you are coming to the Bay Area. When? NOTE: When a single word is woven into the flow of a sentence, capitalization and special punctuation is not usually required. The questions we need to address at our next board meeting are not why or whether but how and when.
The Question Mark - ¶111b Punctuate complete and elliptical questions separately, according to your meaning.Where shall we meet? At the airport? Where shall we meet at the airport? Where do I put the groceries? In the kitchen? Where do I put the groceries in the kitchen?
The Question Mark - ¶112 Use a question mark at the end of a sentence that is phrases like a statement but spoken with the rising intonation of a question. Do you expect me to believe this story? He still intends to proceed? Surely you can’t be serious about what you said to the CEO yesterday?
The Question Mark – ¶114 a When a short direct question falls within a sentence, set the question off with commas and put a question mark at the end of the sentence. I can alter the terms, can’t I, whenever I wish? It’s true, is it not, that you had no intention of staying on until the end of the year?
The Question Mark – ¶114 b When a short question falls at the end of a sentence, use a comma before it and a question mark after it. We aren’t obligated to attend the meeting, are we? You haven’t understood a word I have said, have you? Rachel has been named head of the office, hasn’t she? You forgot to make hotel reservations, didn’t you?
The Question Mark - ¶ 115 When a longer direct question comes at the end of a sentence, it starts with a capital letter and is preceded by a comma or a colon. The question mark that ends the question also serves to mark the end of the sentence. The key question is, Whom shall we nominate? This is the key question: Whom shall we nominate?
The Question Mark - ¶117a A series of brief questions at the end of a sentence may be separated by commas or (for emphasis) by question marks. Implies that one person may be asked to perform all tasks: Who will be responsible for drafting the proposal, obtaining comments from all the interested parties, and coordinating the distribution of copies? Implies that different people may be asked to perform each task:Who will be responsible for drafting the proposal? obtaining comments from all the interested parties? coordinating the distribution of copies?
The Question Mark - ¶117 b-c Do not confuse this type of sentence pattern with a series of independent questions. Each independent question starts with a capital letter and ends with a question mark. Before you accept the job offer, think about the following: Will this job give you experience relevant to your real career goal? Will it permit you to keep abreast of the latest technology? Will it pay what you need? Independent questions in a series are often elliptical sentences.Was Walter’s loan been approved? When? By Whom? For what amount?
The Question Mark - ¶118 • A question mark enclosed in parentheses may be used to express doubt or uncertainty about a word or phrase within a sentence. • Do not insert any space before the opening parenthesis; leave one space after the closing parenthesis. He joined the firm after his graduation from Columbia Law School in 1999 (?). The explorer Joe Smith (1485?-1565?) was a famous person. Jane is leaving tomorrow (I think?) to start her new job in Texas.