No, that sentence should not end with a question mark.

I was at the post office today mailing a few items, when I saw a little placard that made me cringe. It showed a postal worker, holding her hand to her ear, as if she was listening. Below her picture was this text:

We’d like to know how you service was today?

Argh. No, that sentence does not need a question mark at the end. It should have a period, or if they were wanting to imply excitement, an exclamation point – but not a question mark. That’s a statement. Statements do not end in question marks.

I’m really surprised that made it through the editing process!

By | 2007-06-28T15:23:26+00:00 June 28th, 2007|English, Language Gripes|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Nils June 28, 2007 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I think this may be a case of extreme high rising terminal 😉

  2. Josh June 28, 2007 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    I’m not sure if that’s really what that is or not. I’ve seen such constructions before. Generally, it looks to me like what’s happened is, they have a question in mind, e.g.:

    How was your service today?

    But when they convert that to a statement, they forget to change the punctuation from that of a question to a statement, thus:

    We’d like to know how you service was today?

    Maybe you’re right though. Maybe it is a case of high rising terminal.

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