Quick question about grammar...

I saw an ad in the train this morning which said:

The average water fountain handle has more germs than a toilet seat… Now isn’t that refreshing.

And I wondered, “Why didn’t that last part have a question mark instead of a period?” But then it occurred to me that people often intend to say things like that in a way that is not actually inquisitive. They say it on a downward slope, as though it’s a conclusion and not something to be answered.

What I’m wondering is whether there’s a grammatical term or explanation for something like that. Would it be considered an interrogative or declarative sentence?

Thanks, smarties. :slight_smile:


Sorry, the topic should have read “Quick QUESTION about grammar.”

It’s a rhetorical question, and it should have had a question mark.


I guess it would also depend on the tone with which one would give the statement:

Now isn’t that refreshing? (yes, compared to sludge)

Now isn’t that refreshing. :eyeroll:

In an ad like that, seems like a question mark would have made the most sense. Would have been more eye-catching, too.

When people say things like that, they inflect downwards at the end of the sentence (another example is the Church Lady’s “Isn’t that special…”); they assume that, since it’s not inflecting up it shouldn’t get a question mark.

They’re wrong.