Ice Cream or Custard with your Question Mark?


How important is a question mark.

How important is a question mark?

It’s the difference between a statement and a question, that’s how important it is. This became very apparent during a text conversation about that most vital of subjects – PUDDING. The first sentence above is a declarative statement, the second is, undoubtedly, a question. It has a question mark – that’s the give-away!

So, how did this topic become embroiled in a discussion of pudding? Easy, due to the lack of this clever little punctuation mark, two of us both thought the other had got it sorted.

S: [She’s blonde so will remain quite anonymous for her own dignity]

Got pudding sorted for Sunday

Me: [ Noting the absolute lack of any helpful punctuation to the contrary]



Me: See you then

End of conversation. ‘S’ and her family were coming to mine on the Sunday and I had mentioned a few days earlier that I still hadn’t decided what to do for afters. I took her text as a statement [no question mark, none whatsoever m’lud] and thought to myself ‘Well, that’s nice of her, she’s bringing something, saves me the bother’.

Sunday comes, they turn up. I have dinner cooking in the oven, and look at her expectantly to see what she’s brought. ‘Pudding?’ I ask, realising there are no carrier bags, cake boxes or other such potential containers of yumminess. ‘You said you’d sorted it.’ she replied. ‘No,’ says I, ‘you said you had’. I then show her exhibit 1, the text.

‘I was asking you if you’d sorted it!’ she explained, looking quite bemused that I could possibly have misunderstood.

‘Where’s the question mark then?’ I asked.

‘Oh Mother!’ she replied, exasperated ‘ you and your grammar’.

But, the lack of punctuation meant a lack of pudding. Try telling that to two small boys.

Custard with your punctuation anybody?

* Thankfully there’s a shop just round the corner, so all was not lost. The picture? They are the ice cream cones we had in Paris, just thought I’d brag a bit!


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