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I am a student and write to professors frequently. And often, I have to use sentences like this -

Could you give me an appointment to meet you regarding this matter.

I am usually confused whether to type a question mark at the end of this sentence or a plainly end it with a full stop. Typing a question mark appears a bit rude to me, so I often end the sentence in a full stop.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Matt E. Эллен, FumbleFingers, oerkelens, user66974, tchrist Jun 13 '14 at 14:18

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    How is using a question mark rude? – Matt E. Эллен Jun 13 '14 at 11:49
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    I am confused why you think a question mark is a bit rude. How do you usually end your questions? – Kit Z. Fox Jun 13 '14 at 11:49
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    I would think without a question mark is more rude, presumptively turning it from a passive aggressive lead on directly to a command. – Mitch Jun 13 '14 at 11:57
  • I don't know. Now that I have asked the question, I feel like an idiot. This was bugging me for some time, so took time to ask it here. I thought this would be a common feeling, but evidently, it isn't. – nnori Jun 13 '14 at 11:59
  • @KitFox: Tsk. And you a mod supposed to be helping to make ELU a "welcoming" site. OP already told you he finds question marks offensive, and you just throw one right back at him! – FumbleFingers Jun 13 '14 at 12:25
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If it's a question, you should use a question mark:

Could you give me an appointment to meet you regarding this matter?

If anything, leaving out a question mark from a question could make it seem rude.

To make it more polite, include please:

Please could you give me an appointment to meet you regarding this matter?

  • Okay. This is probably a culture thing. I understand now. – nnori Jun 13 '14 at 11:52
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    Perhaps, but you didn't say where you're from (or where your professor is), and I don't know of any cultures where a single question mark makes a question rude (multiple question marks is another matter.) – Hugo Jun 13 '14 at 11:56
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    However every culture surely has some sort of please custom in a polite expression of desire. – Andrew Leach Jun 13 '14 at 12:05

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