Monday, March 25, 2013

Grammar Madness: Round 2



When I told my friend that I pitted the question mark against the exclamation point for the first round of grammar madness, he chided me for choosing two seed one punctuation marks.

But, surprisingly, it was really no contest. The question mark totally kicked the question mark’s ass. 

The exclamation point was condemned for being “all POP and no substance” and “way too enthusiastic.” It was described as being “like a panting dog who slobbers all over you.” Some even replace the exclamation point with all caps followed by a period.

The question mark, on the other hand, was heralded as being “the more versatile of the two” and “equally good on offense and defense.” According to another comment, it “ensures at least some thought will take place.” It’s even popular with the youth: a fifteen-year-old said that “it actually does something useful.”

So now for the next round:the question mark versus the colon. 

P.S. If you ever google an image for the colon, I recommend you include the words "punctuation mark" in the search. Especially if you've just eaten.


Shelly said...

This was difficult for me. However, I still vote for the question mark because it always does the heavy work at the end of a sentence.

Genskie said...

I go for the question mark.

Andrew Leon said...

The colon is way more useful: You can use it to explain a previous statement, introduce a list or a quote, you can't tell time without it (at least not in the States), and it's needed in math. Oh! And book titles when you have a subtitle. I probably forgot some, too.

The question mark does one thing. One. And you don't even need it all the time, because you can pair a comma with the "ask" to get the same effect.

the late phoenix said...

well there goes my breakfast. this is a tough one, I treat the colon like my little brother, I use it quite often when I name lists, it's warm, comforting, and familiar. However, I'm still in the cheering section of the question mark, there's just something about a sign which can bring online strangers together.

Jenny, we've found our next George Mason, Florida Gulf Coast University! let's see if the Cinderella run continues against Florida coming up...

Kelly Polark said...

Question Mark!
I rarely use the colon. The punctuation mark colon. I imagine my actual colon is used daily.

DiscConnected said...

As you know, my blog is all about music, and because of that, I gotta go with the question mark.

Who could forget ? And The Mysterians "96 Tears"

Not to mention the Blue Oyster Cult symbol being derived from the question mark.

And last but not least, the question mark is placed prominently in the title of Todd Rundgren's landmark album "Something?/Anything"

It's the question mark, hands down!


Theresa Milstein said...

Question mark. Most people are afraid to use a colon. It's only slightly less intimidating than the semicolon. A writer can function without a colon, but is it possible without a question mark? I think not.

Wendy Ramer said...

I vote for the question mark, mostly because the colon causes too many problems for my ESL students, and because my son has been surviving just fine without his colon since last year. (Yes, I'm intimately familiar with the images you warned others to avoid.)

DWei said...

But, surprisingly, it was really no contest. The question mark totally kicked the question mark’s ass.

So the question mark kicked his own ass. That's pretty awesome.

Ok, I'll stop being a smartass and vote. I pick the colon. Because I tend to use the colon more in my notes and if I start seeing question marks that means I'm probably doomed for the class.

Van White said...

The colon is the more versatile of the two. As Victor Borge said: "The two little dots: you can put them over each other, you can put them under each other, you can put them anywhere you want to put them.