The Question Mark
The question mark is used at the end of a direct question. Example: ‘What is your name?’ she asked.
It may also be used at the end of a tag question, which changes a statement into a question. Example: He left early, didn’t he?
Question marks should not be used at the end of indirect questions, such as: I asked my mother whether there were any messages.
In a sentence which contains multiple questions, you may include a question mark after each. Example: Who saw the victim last? Her husband? Her son? Her daughter?
Question marks are also used to denote missing information.
This punctuation mark was first seen in the 8th century and was called the punctus interrogativus. There are many theories about the origin of the symbol, which has changed several times before settling on its current form in the 18th century.
The Latin for question was quaestio, which was abbreviated to ‘Qo’ in the Middle Ages. It’s thought that the modern symbol represents the ‘Q’ placed over the ‘O’. The term ‘question mark’ dates from the 19th century.
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