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"Another question about question mark usage." Topic

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688 hits since 25 Oct 2012
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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2012 4:59 p.m. PST

In a private conversation elsewhere (Yes, I go to other places…)
I asked:

Has your legal advice included "You're hosed, buddy."?

Is what I wrote correct?
I am asking a question about what he said. I am asking if he used a declarative sentence that is NOT a question.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2012 5:11 p.m. PST

comma after included, no period-per flashback of Sister Mary Louise, Our Lady of Lourdes, Carmelite order….thanks, I can taste the chalk dust from memories of diagramming a sentence at the blackboard…Nuns!!!! Get the 'fifty up!!!!….sorry, I'm OK now.

jpattern225 Oct 2012 5:28 p.m. PST

What Skippy said.

kyoteblue Inactive Member25 Oct 2012 5:33 p.m. PST

? if I know.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Oct 2012 6:12 p.m. PST

Functionally, I agree with your punctuation, however, the Chicago Manual of Style and the Little, Brown book both say question mark inside the quotes, and the comma after "included."

See … it even looks off there. "included" with the quotes around it is a functional unit of language and should not logically be broken up by the punctuation of the sentence. But what can you expect from a language that got a bunch of grammar from Welsh..?


skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2012 9:49 p.m. PST

I was taught question mark after the quotes, because the quoted section is only part of the sentence. I had to stay after school for this so I should know.
If we were taught grammar by Imperial Romans, this wouldn't be a problem…or our voices would be higher…

vaughan Inactive Member26 Oct 2012 2:36 a.m. PST

Question mark after the quotes otherwise the quote is a question.

GarrisonMiniatures Inactive Member26 Oct 2012 5:13 a.m. PST

Question mark comes at the end of the sentence. The quotation marks are part of the sentence. Therefore…

Arteis Inactive Member26 Oct 2012 5:17 a.m. PST

The Grammarbook website uses a similar example:

Do you agree with the saying, "All's fair in love and war"?

The site says that only one ending punctuation mark is used with quotation marks. Also, the stronger punctuation mark wins. Therefore, no fullstop after war is used.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2012 5:34 a.m. PST

I have fulfilled my Nun-induced grammar programming protocols. My life is complete. Then again, I failed Math six years in a row…

Last Hussar27 Oct 2012 3:02 p.m. PST

No full stop after 'buddy'. The question mark is correct outside the quote, though I understand that the 'official' US grammar is with it inside. I guess that this is because if it had been a statement the stop would bring the sentence to an end

So my lawyer said "You're hosed, buddy."

However (and I realise this may bring a load of comments from Columbines saying 'we can do what we like') to put the mark inside makes it part of the quoted speech; i.e. the lawyer is asking rather than stating.

If the quote was its self a question then the query belongs inside whether the OFM line was a question or a statement. You only need one punctuation mark.

My Lawyer said "Where are you?"

Did my lawyer ask "Where are you?"

Did my lawyer say "Stay there"?

It is slightly more complicated if the quoted speech is at the start. Usually there is a comma, even if the spoken sentence ends.

"There you are," he said. (NEVER "There you are." He said.

However if another punctuation mark is needed, then that is used.

"Where are you?" he said. (NOT "Where are you," he said?)

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