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Young Writers Society
Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:42 am
I was having a discussion with one of my friends about question marks. Do you think question marks are only allowed at the end of sentences that are grammatical questions, or can they represent inflections?
"Maybe we should have waited." vs. "Maybe we should have waited?" You read them differently, right?
Secondly, is it okay to not use a question mark when the sentence is structured as a question. Ex:
"Won't that be fun," he sighed.
And lastly (and I have a strong opinion about this one) how do you guys feel about double punctuation marks? (i.e. !!, !?, ??)
Thanks in advance for your comments.
'Let's eat Grandma!' or, 'Let's eat, Grandma!' Punctuation saves lives.
You know you want one.
Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:23 am
In my opinion, question marks can be used in whatever situation best suits them. I use them for inflection sometimes in my writing (like your example), even though it might not technically be grammatically correct. So long as they aren't being thrown all over the place willy-nilly, and stay at the ends of sentences whether they are grammatically questions or used for inflection I'd say go ahead and use it!
As far as double punctuation... eh. I'm not a big fan. I feel like dialogue/prose should be written well enough that it's understood as really loud/excited/accentuated (when you would use a !!) or as an exaggerated question (??). I don't even use single exclamation marks in my writing very much. As far as the !? or ?! goes, there's actually a real (nonstandard) punctuation, the interrobang, that represents those marks: ‽
It's technically just a question mark overlayed on an exclamation mark, but it fits that use. That's the one double punctuation I ever consider using (!? or ?!), because it's a unique voice inflection that is hard to get across in writing.
I don't know if I answered any questions really xD But hopefully this can at least be an interesting conversation!
The simple truth is that authors like making people squirm. If this weren't the case, all novels would be filled completely with cute bunnies having birthday parties.
— Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians
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