Consider the following sentence:
Did you know you can donate "stuff"?
"Stuff" in this case means "anything besides cash." It's the lead-in to an article informing users on a charity's website that they can gift things like stocks, bonds, vehicles, real estate, commodities, jewelry, and other non-cash assets.
The APA Style Guide says to put question marks:
- Inside, if question mark or exclamation point is part of quoted material
- Outside, if question mark or exclamation point is not part of quoted material
What makes me uncertain about my example sentence is that I'm not sure how to properly apply the "quoted material" test. It seems to me that the quote marks are being used here as scare quotes, to signal unusual usage, or perhaps it's nonstandard usage where a typographic change, like italicizing or bolding, would be more appropriate.
In any case, the bottom line is the quotes are not being used to denote "quoted material," at least in the sense of "material that is being quoted from elsewhere." This APA rule seems to be only addressing that type of quotation mark usage. So I'm not sure whether the question marks should go inside or outside the quote marks.
The simplest "solution" is to interpret "quoted material" to mean anything that is in quote marks, whether or not clearly a quote of content from another author or location. Is this an appropriate interpretation?
I'm particularly interested in references to reputable sources that address this question. Thank you!