Re: Does a rhetorical question need a '?'

Subject: Re: Does a rhetorical question need a '?'
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 12 Jun 2005 17:18:35 -0400

Johan Hiemstra wrote:

I stumbled on something that made me think and eventually doubt. Is a
question mark required in my rhetorical question below.

From a clarity standpoint, interrogatives starting with "why" are rarely confused as statements. It's clear a question's being asked, even if rhetorically, thanks to the power of "why".

But what's wrong with using a question mark? If you don't like the device of asking and answering your own questions (which is an understandable if personal preference), axing the question mark doesn't change the fact that you've done it.

In the interest pf preserving the convention for future communicators -- perhaps facing the same issue in murkier circumstances -- use a question mark. Or rewrite.

"... and crack authentication systems _while_ he can just walk into ..."

Use "when", here. Might also use "where", but it's stilted.



Lou Quillio
Cambridge, NY USA
public -at- quillio -dot- com
louquillio -at- mac -dot- com (IM)


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Does a rhetorical question need a '?': From: Johan Hiemstra

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