I know I bitched about this in ru stupid, but it seems to have become far more common in the last 6 months or so.
Some people appear to have decided that it's no longer cool to end an interrogative sentence (that is, a question) with what we commonly refer to as a "question mark."
Just to refresh your memory, they look like this: ?
Sure, I know what you're thinking. "Why does it matter. Isn't readily obvious that someone is asking a question when they begin a sentence with a word such as who, why, what, where, how, when, and so on."
Well, you're wrong on multiple counts. First, you forgot your damned questions marks, you moron! Second, I bet that if you try, you'll find that's it's not difficult to construct a sentence beginning with one of those "question words" that is, in fact, not a question.
How to do that is left as an exercise to the reader. (I used to hate it when pretentious textbooks said that.)
Finally, this becomes a real problem when reading the voluminous
test text I read on a daily basis--often e-mail and on-line
discussions. Why? Because it completely destroys the scanability
of the text. It's common for me to scan messages quickly to see
if there are any questions that I must address. If
not, I may decide to give it my attention when I'm less busy.
More than a few times I've had someone ask
my me why I've been
ignoring their questions, only to go back and find not a single
question mark in their original message.
Where's the electronic cluestick when you need to beat someone?
Posted by jzawodn at February 11, 2004 11:15 AM