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Re: Rhetorical questions.

From:Garth Wallace <gwalla@...>
Date:Friday, October 1, 2004, 21:13
Adrian Morgan (aka Flesh-eating Dragon) wrote:

> Sometimes the topics that come up on the Internet are of potential > interest to more than one group, and I feel inclined to share them. > This is one such. > > In the past, some people have advocated the view that a rhetorical > question mark would sometimes be useful in written English. Now, a > quick Google will show that there was indeed once such a mark (simply > an ordinary question mark, but backwards), which was invented in the > 1580s and died out only a few decades later, so obviously it didn't > catch on. And my personal view is that a rhetorical question mark > would *not* be useful. Partly because unless a question is expressed > badly then IMO it's unlikely for it to be rhetorical without being > *obviously* so, and partly because I find the division of questions > into two categories, real vs rhetorical, to be every bit as artificial > as the division of astronomy into "stars" vs "other". I hold that > there are several different types of question, all equally different > from each other. There is even some disagreement among English > speakers about what exactly is or is not a rhetorical question, > indicating that the borders of the category are fuzzy. These are > issues that I mention in brief now, but which I can expand upon.
I like the rhetorical question mark, mainly because I think that punctuation is awesome. I'm also in favor of dotless question marks that can be combined with other punctuation, and the adoption of the Spanish reversed question mark into English.