Issue 171, page 3

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Residentmudgeon Malcolm Tent is back wondering

I wonder why people place a question mark at the end of a sentence beginning with "I wonder..."  To wonder is an action.  If one is wondering one is not asking a question, one is wondering.  When I wonder at the glorious world of nature, I am not asking a question about it, I am admiring it.  

If you think you could write "I wonder if it will rain?" without repressing a shudder, I ask you to consider the following sentence:

"I wonder if it will rain?" he asked. 

Doesn't that asked just look horribly wrong?  It is because the person saying "I wonder if it will rain" is not asking a question about the weather but making a declarative statement about their state of their mind.

Quite simply, unless the sentence is a question there's no question mark.

Has everyone got that, now? I wonder! 

Have you heard or read similar or equally distressing usages?

Do tell us. 

Read this before commenting on this week's Curmudgeons' Corner

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Last Updated 09/29/02 08:56 PM