First off, Alice was in a bit of a rush this morning – else I’m sure she would not have taken the avoidance tack. (She was also clearly disturbed by McCain’s snub of Obama – although her interpretation is probably spot on.) Anyway, here’s her response to my question mark question (lifted from the “Comments”):
“Oh, re. parenthetical expressions, I say avoid them at all costs if there’s a question within a mile of them….OK?”
Meanwhile CB (who seems to have felt snubbed by JordanCornblog) sent in a response that has the ring of “process fatigue.” I’m guessing that CB is in “just do it” mode these days – and hope that she hasn’t been asked to serve on any school committees lately! Here’s what she said (as only she can say it):
“I know that you didn’t ask me, but the way to punctuate parenthetical questions at the end of sentences is to form a working committee of mid-level, insecure managers. They should hold at least three meetings that rob everyone of time. After they hash out a decision, they should put it in writing and submit it to everyone who has absolutely no say in the matter. Then you should decide what you really want and put it in the official JordanCornblog style book. Afterwards, any diversion from your rule will be grounds for termination.”
As and aside … I did consider saying “CB or Alice” but didn’t want to pressure you … when you’re probably busy grading papers or planning pop quizzes or some other teacherly weekend activity! 😉
So here’s what I found out there on the web … after removing Google Chrome (which I had installed last night and which was refusing to let me enter ANY websites – calling them all dangerous) … sheesh!
.4. When a question mark is used with parenthesis, put it inside the parenthesis if the enclosed sentence stands alone. When the parenthesis enclose just part of a sentence, put the question mark outside the parenthesis. Always add another terminal punctuation mark to the end of the sentence.
For months, she stayed in extra hours to complete the project (Was she that eager to get promoted?).
Did she really stay in extra hours to complete the project (despite being denied of a promotion)?
So … I think I got it wrong earlier – that wasn’t actually a complete sentence within the parentheses. But I need to move on … get a life … maybe even exercise for 15 minutes!