Maybe someone with a formal knowledge of English composition will able to tell me if this is truly acceptable or if it's just a new perversion of written communication via the lolcat culture.
What I'm referring to is the use of a question mark to express doubt in what would normally be considered a statement and not, well, a question.
I heard the weather was supposed to be nice today???
Maybe I'm missing something here???
A badger is gnawing on my privates???
Although I'm not sure if there would ever be a situation where anyone might doubt a badger is indeed gnawing on his or her privates, I think you get the idea. It should also be noted that when the question mark is used in this way, rarely is it ever used just once.
I suppose this bothers me so much because I've always treated the presence of a question mark as an indication that a question is being asked. Multiple question marks imply a very important question is being asked. So when I see it used not in a question, but rather merely as an expression of doubt, things can get confusing. Take this on-line conversation I recently had:
Ervill694vr: I guess I was really drunk when I got home from the bar last night???
DCasper: Oh, really? I wouldn't know. I wasn't there when you got home.
Ervill694vr: I wasn't asking you. I was telling you.
DCasper: Sorry, but, you used question marks. I thought you were asking.
Ervill694vr: Well, I wasn't. It's all just a bit fuzzy.
Ervill694vr: And before that a badger was gnawing on my privates?
DCasper: That's horrible!
Ervill694vr: No...I'm asking! At any point last night did you see a woodland creature attached to my crotch?
Once again, you can see the trouble this causes.
Or, should I say, you can see the trouble this causes???
All I ask is that if there's some new rule about appropriate usage of punctuation, is it too much to have a newsletter or something for us later adopters? I have a hard enough time answering the legitimate questions asked of me that I don't need the added difficulty of determining whether or not a question is being asked in the first place.
Thanks for hearing me out. Your attention on this matter is greatly appreciated???