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The symbol is sometimes thought to originate from the Latin qvaestio, meaning "question", which was abbreviated during the Middle Ages to Qo. The uppercase Q was written above the lowercase o, and this mark was transformed into the modern symbol.
Another hypothesis about the origin of the question mark proposes that it originated in the 9th century, when it appeared as an exclamation point with a curved bar (like a tilde written slantwise) in order to reflect the intonation of the speaker. Lynne Truss attributes an early form to Alcuin of York. Truss describes the punctus interrogativus of the late 700s as "a lightning flash, striking from right to left." The name "question mark" was coined in the late 1800s.
Yet another view is that the question mark simply inverts the semicolon, which marked interrogative clauses in Ancient Greek (while enlarging the upper portion).
The origin of the question mark has also been associated with early musical notation like neumes.
An American superstition that movies or television shows with question marks in the title do poorly at the box office has made many studios shy away from the punctuation mark. This has caused many works to be retitled when adapted for American cinema, such as the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, which was retitled Who Framed Roger Rabbit (without the question mark) for the big screen.
IS BEING EATEN