I’m always double-checking that indirect question. Is it really a question or is it a statement that expresses wonder or annoyance?
That interabang answers my own questions about the ? and ! combination. And who knew there was an actual mark for irony? It does eliminate one of the questions about the indirect question.
Properly Punctuated is…
…the proper use of quotation marks, commas, semicolons, colons, ellipsis, etc., including how to properly mark dialog, ahem. As Properly Punctuated is in no way complete, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone…
If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page — and consider sharing this Properly Punctuated tidbit with friends by tweeting it.
|Question Mark, ?|
|Definition: Ends a sentence and indicates that it is a direct question.
An indirect question should end with a period.
|Types of Questions|
|Direct Question||Definition: Asks a question.
Rule: Ends with a question mark.
|Can we go swimming now?|
|Indirect Question||Definition: More of a meandering wonder.
Rule: Ends with a period.
|I wonder if we’ll ever get there.|
|Interabang, ‽||Definition: ?! and !? are used to express some question, excitement, surprise, or disbelief, depending upon the order in which the punctuation marks are used (Nancy Owens Barnes’ “Exclamation Mark: Its Use and Abuse!“).
Rule: The first punctuation mark is your first reaction, or what you would use if you could only use one mark:
While the ‽ is available, its use is very infrequent with preference going to the ?! or the !?
The chess notations, ?! indicates an iffy move while !? indicates a risky yet interesting move.
|Irony, ⸮||Definition: Reversed question mark used at the end of a question that does not require an answer. Its use died out in the 17th century.
A.k.a., rhetorical question mark
You’re so clever⸮