(?) is simply a passing note of incertitude at the preceding word (sometimes phrase).
I am the tallest(?) in our class
Here this usage indicates that the author is not sure if he/she is really the tallest one.
People have mentioned in the comments that, yes, in the past, a small (non-breaking) space was inserted before an ! and a ? These must never start a new line. The space is also a small space, very clearly much more than the space between letters of a word, but much less than a sentence-ending space.
See, for example, this:
From an 1899 edition of ...
The Chicago Manual of Style recommends a nonbreakable space before and after an ellipsis when the intention is to trail off a sentence.
13.52 Ellipses with other punctuation. Placement of the other punctuation depends on whether the omission precedes or follows the mark; when the omission precedes it, a nonbreakable space should be used between the ...
"Who knows?" is an example of a rhetorical question, because it is really a statement that does not actually ask for an answer.
The consensus is that it's sometimes OK to skip question marks for rhetorical question. Some people will say you shouldn't ever skip a question mark for a rhetorical question, and no one minds if you use a question mark, so I ...
The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (2003) asserts this broad rule against combining question marks (or exclamation points) and commas (or periods):
6.123 When to omit comma or period. Neither a period (aside from an abbreviating period) nor a comma ever accompanies a question mark or an exclamation point. The latter two marks, ...
According to "Basicwriting" course on Coursera: https://class.coursera.org/basicwriting-002/ there should be a period instead of question mark:
Use a period to end (1) declarative sentences, which state facts and
opinions; (2) imperative sentences, which give commands and
directions; (3) indirect questions; and (4) polite requests that are
stated as ...
What does your style manual say? The Chicago Manual of Style makes this a typographical issue, noting that when two different marks appear at the same location, only the stronger is retained. (Exceptions occur for certain instances involving quotation marks, parentheses, brackets, and dashes, but none of those is germane here.) Another typographical ...
You should be aware that most style guides will tell you not to use an interrobang even if you have one; moreover, a single sentence-ending punctuation mark is sufficient unless you are trying to emulate Hunter Thompson and go totally gonzo (and even Thompson did his freaking out in the writing, not the punctuation).
If you want to express a question ...
?! is emphasizing a question.
!? is questioning an emphasis.
I don't know why anyone would add an emphasis only to undercut it in the next mark, so I've never thought "!?" has any validity.
EDIT: There appear to be no sources published about this — interrobangs are extremely unexplored territory — so I can only refer to the structure of written English ...
I find this entire discussion quite intriguing, to be honest. Assuming that most people will come here looking for guidance on a rather non-complex scale:
The American convention for punctuation of quotations is that commas and full stops (aka the '.') always go inside the quotation. This is true. This is to assist with organization, but also to eliminate ...
A comma indicates a brief pause, or delineates subordinate or relative clauses within a sentence.
Speech tends to be more informal – you can certainly use a comma as per your example.
You could also use a dash like so:
What are you going to do – sue me?
See http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/dash for more examples.
It depends on what you're talking about, and how formal you're being.
I would normally use
when talking about any phenomenon that applied to all such questions, not just Why.
By the same token, if there were something specific to
(e.g, embedded Why-questions don't allow reduction with relative infinitives, the way how ...
What you have written is incorrect, several times over. First, you never follow a dash with punctuation; it simply isn’t done. Second, you didn’t use a dash there, and you should have done so. These are your three main choices here, with some variation in number 2:
Unspaced em dash:
You didn’t use a dash there—and you should have done so. (no space)
Two such punctuation marks together are generally best avoided. You can instead insert a blank line to separate the question from the example, like this:
Is it possible for the following sentence to be translated into
"Hello, nice to see you."
Better still might be to write:
Is it possible for "Hello, nice to see you" to be translated ...
Sentences such as the one in your example may be grammatically interrogative, yet not be questions to which speakers expect the usual kinds of answer. There is a difference between their form (interrogative) and their function (statement or command). A question mark will be consistent with their grammatically interrogative form.
Some of you detail-oriented (okay, picky) people may want to know what to do when the quotation and the sentence are both questions. Read on.
For those rare occasions when both the quoted words and the sentence are questions, put the question mark inside the quotation ...
One clue is how this is said. The question mark is a written indication of spoken intonation.
The quoted question is not phrased as a question, with rising intonation. It's said as though its punctuation is
By saying "Where do you belong to," what did they mean?
and there is no reason not to punctuate it that way.
This punctuation reduces the ...
It's allowed, but mostly inadvisable.
The times it is most allowable are:
You have a series of related questions:
Do you know what he was called? where he was from? who is people are?
Expressing uncertainty within a sentence:
This feeling, this anger? rage? fury? I am over-whelmed.
You are living in the 18th Century. (It used to be more common than ...
This statement would obviously occur only in a non-formal context or as a direct quotation in a formal context. In either case, no formal ‘rule’ applies.
Instead, placement of the question mark should be guided by the actual phonetic contour of the utterance. There will almost certainly be an elevated tone on ‘hour’, which would call for a question mark. ...
The term for that is "interrobang." Wikipedia states,
The interrobang, also known as the interabang, (pron.: /ɪnˈtɛrəbæŋ/), ‽ (often represented by ?! or !?), is a nonstandard punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark (also called the “interrogative point”) and the exclamation mark or ...
I assume OP is referring to...
high rising terminal (HRT) - also known as moronic interrogative, uptalk, upspeak, rising inflection, unnecessary inflection, or high rising intonation (HRI). A feature of some accents of English where statements have a rising intonation pattern in the final syllable or syllables of the utterance.
It doesn't really indicate ...
This is a punctuation/style question, so the relevant guidance amounts to recommendations that may or may not be consistent from one style manual to the next. If you like (or have to use whether you like it or not) the Chicago Manual of Style, you'll find decisive guidance in section 6.71 of the fifteenth edition (2003):
You can use either.
Without the question mark, it really means "assuming that's ok with you", which doesn't require an answer. You're saying "I'm assuming it's ok with you.", and the other person can obviously say "Actually, it's not convenient." if they want, but if they're ok with it then they can not respond, or at least not address the question in ...
Punctuation is a matter of style, and as such you should be guided by your manual of style, either the one you've chosen or the one thrust upon you. I use the Chicago Manual of Style, which advises the following:
Do not place rhetorical or hypothetical questions in quotes.
When two consecutive marks coincide, retain only the stronger (except in cases not ...
I haven't seen the use of "(?)" in any book or news article for example, I would say it's something used in an informal context. But yes, I'd say it showcases the author's insecurity with respect to the statement