Welcome to the 2013 A to Z Challenge!
This year, I’m focusing on two themes: Emotions and grammar,
depending on which letter we’re on each day.
Today’s a grammar day!
Q is for Question mark: the punctuation mark that replaces the full stop period of an interrogative sentence, often used in place of missing or unknown data. (?)
The question mark? Really? What could I possibly have to say about the question mark? Well, not much, actually. Come on, it’s Friday. I’ve had a long, tough week, and there’s not much that begins with the letter Q, so I’ll keep this brief.
There is one thing I sometimes see as an editor which really bugs me. When writing dialogue, and the character is excitedly asking a question, do NOT use both a question mark AND an exclamation point. You think this would be obvious, but I see it more often that I ever thought I would.
“You do?!” she gasped.
Yes, I do.
Truth is, if your writing is strong, if you’re using the appropriate verbs and nouns—notice I didn’t say adjectives or adverbs—to convey whatever emotion your character is feeling, you don’t need an exclamation point, ever, but especially after a question mark. And honestly, that’s just poor grammar.
Use only ONE type of punctuation at the end of each sentence. Always. No exceptions. Ever.
But wouldn't it be nice if we had one of these?