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  1. Chris-
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    #1

    Ending Punctuation

    I recently encountered an analogy in an online IQ test of some sort, and was unsure about the answer. Due to the fact that the test didn't actually reveal the answers, I was puzzled. Here's the analogy:
    -
    do : not : don't :: ? : ! :
    -
    I take this to mean that if an exclamatory question is asked, one of the two is used according to a rule in the English language, but I've yet to find such a rule. A small bit of research has shown that a new device called an "interrobang" is being used by a small few, but it clearly could not be drawn in to answer this analogy. Any suggestions as to the proper usage would be helpful.
    -
    Thanks in advance,
    Chris

  2. rewboss's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    The answer is ?!

    It's not a grammar question at all: it's just a question of matching patterns. "Do" in the first pattern corresponds to "?" in the second pattern; "not" in the first pattern corresponds to "!" in the second.

    "Don't" is "do" + "not", so what you need in the second pattern is "?" + "!", which is "?!".

    Again: this has nothing to do with actual rules of grammar, spelling or punctuation. The words and punctuation marks are used here as abstract symbols, nothing more.


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    #3

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    I'm sorry, but that was not one of the options. It gave me 4 multiple choice options:

    !
    ?
    .
    :

    I assume that it's one of the first two, but you never know. I probably should have mentioned these at the start, my apoligies.


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    #4

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    Does anyone have revised input, gramatically speaking?


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    #5

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    Bump...?


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    #6

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    Bump...?


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    #7

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    Bump...? (#5)

    Are you guys skilled with the English language or not?

  3. rewboss's Avatar

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    #8

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    This isn't an English grammar problem, it's a logic problem. And speaking for myself, I'm stumped and am likely to remain stumped no matter how often this thread is bumped.


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    #9

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    Well I appreciate your input, but it is an English grammar problem.

    If you have an exclamatory question, what is the proper ending punctuation?

    For example, which of these is correct?

    What the hell are you doing!
    What the hell are you doing?
    What the hell are you doing?!
    What the hell are you doing!?

    ... Is that more clear?

  4. rewboss's Avatar

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    #10

    Re: Ending Punctuation

    Well, in post #3 you said the options were an exclamation mark, a question mark, a period or a colon; the question you are now asking is completely unrelated to the IQ problem.

    Personally, I would use just a question mark, but I think it's quite acceptable to use either ?! or !? -- I don't believe they have to go in any particular order.

    What you shouldn't do is to use multiple exclamation marks or multiple question marks -- that's very sloppy. Also, exclamation marks are often overused -- they should be used very sparingly indeed, otherwise they just lose their impact.

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