What about…? How about…?

Margie Wakeman Wells The Question Mark Leave a Comment

“What about…?” and “How about…?” are idiomatic expressions that are meant to ask a question. It is true that they are not grammatically complete sentences in that they do not have a verb. However, idioms are unique unto themselves, and these two indicate questions and must stand alone with a question mark. If there is a question after this expression, …

“My Question Is…”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Question Mark Leave a Comment

This construction always causes consternation and no end of disagreement. This is my understanding of the way English grammar works. It is never correct to use a single separating comma between the verb and the predicate nominative. Surely no one wants a comma in the following examples. …My name is Margie. …Her response is that she was not home. …My …

Put the Question Mark Where the Question Is First Asked

Margie Wakeman Wells The Question Mark 2 Comments

It seems as if I just addressed this, but I looked back and don’t see it. The only way to consistently punctuate questions is to follow this rule: Put the question mark where the question is first asked; where, if the attorney had just stopped and waited, s/he could have gotten an answer. …What was she wearing? Did you notice? …

The Dash You Hate

Margie Wakeman Wells The Dash 4 Comments

…The key that was hidden on the premises — is it the one you used to get in that night? “The key that was hidden on the premises” is the start of a sentence that never gets finished. Then the person comes back and uses a complete sentence with a reference to “key” with the word “it.” There is nothing …

Put the Interrog Where the Question Is First Asked

Margie Wakeman Wells The Question Mark, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

First, when the situation is that the attorney has asked a question, using question word order and then does not just keep quiet and get his answer but goes on to clarify, restate, et cetera, we have a problem. How do we handle “multiple” questions within the same question?   I would propose that we adopt a rule that uses …