Friday, October 12, 2007

Is a question really the end?

R.S. asks:

A question I have not had much luck in finding an answer to if you have a moment. If I am asking a list of questions (each question ending with a question mark) should each question begin with a capitalized letter or lower case? I have not been able to find any clear answer on this!

June answers:

Do you mean in running text in a paragraph?
Will Harry Potter be able to defeat Voldemort? Will he win the Somethingsomething cup? Will he get a comb?

Usually, a question mark is a "terminal punctuation" mark, meaning it ends a sentence. And when a sentence officially ends, the next one starts with a capital.

In rare cases, a question mark can be non-terminal, appearing in the middle of a sentence. Per the Chicago Manual of Style:

A question mark is used within a sentence at the end of a direct question. If the question does not begin the sentence, it need not start with a capital letter.

Is it worth the risk? he wondered.

The question, how can the two be reconciled? was on everyone's mind.

So usually, each question begins with a capital letter. But in rare cases, the continuation of a sentence after a question mark doesn't have to.

Does that answer your question? If not, give me some examples and I'll take another crack at it.

-- June

No comments:


Bookmark and Share