Introduction and question
Aaron E. Drews
aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Fri Dec 3 10:31:43 UTC 1999
On Thu, 2 Dec 1999, Grant Barrett wrote:
}On Thursday, December 2, 1999, Rebecca Meyer <meyerr at MAIL.SDSU.EDU> wrote:
} The sentence under attack was structured exactly like a
}>tag question, but without the question mark (e.g., "You're a real
}>moron, aren't you.").
}Sounds like justification after the fact, to me. This particular mistake
}(as I believe it to be) is one of the warning signs that indicate when to
Personally, I distinguish the "aren't you" question vs. statement by my
choice of punctuation. At least in informal writing. The question mark
to me indicates a rising intonation, which those tag questions often don't
have. This has been a concious decision, rather than a mistake and
As for this being a new, "official" treatment of tag questions... I don't
know. However, in formal writing, I would always use a question mark.
Aaron E. Drews The University of Edinburgh
aaron at ling.ed.ac.uk Departments of English Language and
http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~aaron Theoretical & Applied Linguistics
"MERE ACCUMULATION OF OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE IS NOT PROOF"
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