English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This is the first sentence of which ground-breaking document:

"The importance of a Web page is an inherently subjective matter, which depends on the readers interests, knowledge and attitudes."

In the paragraph above, is "This is... document" correct English? Also, theoretically, shouldn't there be two punctuations after "document", a colon, and a question mark, since it's a question. What do you do in such a case?

Possibly related question: A colon after "following"

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Is there a problem with the English?
As a question, the English is fine.

Should there be a colon and a question-mark at the end of the first line?
No, the question mark belongs after the quotation.

What if the quote is a page long?
Reword the question: "The following is the first page of which ground-breaking document?"

I note that this rewording does now somewhat resurrect the question in the title, but the question mark now dominates here IMHO.

share|improve this answer
What if the "quotation" is a page long? – aviraldg Jan 23 '11 at 4:25

The wording is fine.

I'd try to reword it. If I had to word it that way, I'd put a question mark after the intro, no colon.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.