1. zand2k
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    zand2k New Member

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    Question about question mark, colon and Ellipsis

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by zand2k, May 2, 2012.

    Hi everybody. I am new to the forum. I have a question I hope somebody can help me solve.

    I have a few examples and I would like to get feedback regarding what is correct for punctuation and/or which is the best form for postcard advertising.

    Example 1:
    What if You Could:
    • Get top dollar?
    • Cover your payments?

    Example 2:
    What if You Could?
    • Get top dollar
    • Cover your payments

    Example 3:
    What if You Could?:
    • Get top dollar
    • Cover your payments

    Example 4:
    What if You Could . . .
    • Get top dollar?
    • Cover your payments?

    Example 5:
    What if You Could—
    • Get top dollar?
    • Cover your payments?

    On examples 4 and 5 I also thought about putting the question mark after could and keeping the punctuation, and also remove the question mark from the bullet points.

    Any direction you all can provide is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Sam
     
  2. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Advertising frequently breaks rules in order to be more effective, so I wouldn't worry too much about "correct". The question mark doesn't belong after "could", so #2 and #3 are out (#3 is an abomination anyway!). Of the remainder I would go for #1 as being the simplest (and the one with the best claim to being correct, I reckon), but in practice I'd omit the colon because I think that is too "busy" for advertising display material even though it would be needed in formal writing. So I'd go:
    What if you could
    • Get top dollar?
    • Cover your payments?
    (Note that if you are going to capitalise "What if You Could" then you really need to capitalise everything else because they are completions of the same sentence.)
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no good reason for capitalizing the options, either... so, it would work best as:

    What if you could
    • get top dollar?
    • cover your payments?

    or

    What if you could...
    • get top dollar?
    • cover your payments?

    as an editor and advertising copywriter, i prefer the ellipsis over either a colon or nothing, as it seems to flow into the options better, from a reader's pov...
     
  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, this is for advertising -- Let's convene a focus group!
     

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